Jesus made a very important declaration to His disciples the night before He was crucified. As they reclined at the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).
We are certainly not greater than our Lord as preachers and teachers of the Word, but we can do greater things than He did in terms of our outreach, because the church as a whole has taken the gospel around the world and brought countless numbers of people to faith in Christ. We also are able to do greater works because the Holy Spirit has come to indwell and empower each of us in our specific roles. This could not happen until Jesus returned to His Father (see John 16:7). Notice the church is not called to do different works than Jesus did, only greater works.
According to Ephesians 3, the church is the culmination of God’s plan for the ages that will demonstrate to the entire angelic realm His infinite wisdom in choosing weak vessels such as us through whom to manifest His glory. Paul was explaining to the Ephesians his ministry as the one whom God called to reveal the mystery of the church. This mystery had been hidden for ages (Eph. 3:9), but now was being revealed with the intent that “the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (v. 10).
The plan God set in motion to redeem fallen humanity and call out a people for His name, culminating in the church, was all a big surprise to Satan. He must have thought he outwitted God when he deceived Adam and Eve and plunged the race into sin. However, Satan didn’t understand what Christ was going to achieve on the cross. So we, as leaders in the body of Christ, get to serve in the church as part of the climax of God’s plan and purpose that He set in motion in eternity past. What an honor and a privilege that is—one that we never should take lightly. That is why I want to encourage you today not to neglect the studying or teaching of God’s Word. I also want to encourage you to continue to cultivate your prayer life with the Lord. As you abide in Him, He will do the work in and through you. You have been called to a high responsibility in the drama of the ages. Use your influence well for others’ good and God’s glory.