EP30 John 14:12

Too often, I think, as Christians we pray for something or believe on a scripture, but we treat it like we’re making a wish. Or we act like we’re begging God for Him to turn his attention from some unknown highly important cosmic work to tend to our need. We totally ignore the authority we have and the words of Jesus here in John 14 where He tells us that we will do greater works than He did when He was on the Earth.
In verse 13 Jesus tells us that whatever we ask in his name he will do it that the Father may be glorified in the Son. This is the reality that we live in, Jesus has already gone to the Father and given us the privilege and the power to do His works. Now it should go without saying, but it unfortunately has to be said that in context Jesus was talking about continuing His work and bringing glory to the Father. Praying for a personal increase of a million dollars for instance, while that would be nice, and you probably could get a lot of work done for the Lord with that money, that isn’t exactly what Jesus is talking about here.
Let’s look over at Acts 3 where Peter and John are heading into the temple and they pass by a lame man sitting at the gate begging. It says, “Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, “Look on us.” And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength And he leaping stood up, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”
Did what Peter said there sound anything like a wish, or begging a God who might be too busy to listen? “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Nope! Not even close. It also doesn’t sound much like it fits the term of the word “ask” used in John 14 either. Let’s take a brief moment to look at what word is in the original that was translated as ask:
G154 αἰτέω aiteō ahee-teh'-o Of uncertain derivation; to ask (in generally): - ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require.
It's ask, certainly, but it can also mean require. It’s clear here that Peter thinks that what Jesus meant in John 14 was require not ask. What we see here is Peter has faith that what Jesus has said is true and exercises hope that what he requires of Jesus will happen. We talked about this in episodes 23 and 24. If you haven't listened to those yet, go back. Take the time, listen to episode 23, listen to episode 24. They're less than 10 minutes a piece, all of our podcasts are. Or if you don't have the extra 20 minutes, go read the blog versions. And then come back and pick up from where we are here.
And then Peter, my favorite apostle, after requiring upon the name of Jesus and commanding this man who is lame to get up and walk, he does not disappoint. As the crowds gather around him to see what has happened, Acts 3:12 - 15 says, "When Peter saw he had a congregation, he addressed the people:“Oh, Israelites, why does this take you by such complete surprise, and why stare at us as if our power or piety made him walk? The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his Son Jesus. The very One that Pilate called innocent, that you delivered up and denied. You denied the Holy One, the Just One, and asked for a murderer in his place. You no sooner killed the Author of Life than God raised him from the dead—and we’re the witnesses." Peter does not pull his punches. I love this guy! He says, "You delivered up and denied the Holy One and asked for a murderer in his place. You killed the Author of Life, but it don't matter cause God raised him up from the dead." It's the great start to an altar call don't you think? It's a great way to get people to become believers in Christ. Must have worked though because Acts 4 says that before the police got a chance to arrest Peter and John about five thousand people became believers. Peter don't talk like you and I, he doesn't think like you and I, and he gets amazing results.
We skip ahead to Acts 4:5-12, "The next day a meeting was called in Jerusalem. The rulers, religious leaders, religion scholars, Annas the Chief Priest, Caiaphas, John, Alexander—everybody who was anybody was there. They stood Peter and John in the middle of the room and grilled them: “Who put you in charge here? What business do you have doing this?” With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit (Now at this point remember he's Spirit filled), let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we've got nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.” It says that they couldn't take their eyes off of Peter and John standing there so confident, so sure of themselves! They couldn't believe that these two un-educated, ignorant men, they hadn't even been to seminary or anything, they couldn't believe the could stand before them like this and basically make a fool of the men holding the trial and the whole trial itself.
The question is when you’re praying are you approaching God like Peter? The un-educated ignorant man who could call down the power of Jesus and heal the lame. Or are you being timid like you’re making a wish or begging a God who might be too busy for you? And, what kind of results are you getting?
Jesus said we would do works like Him and even greater things. Don't you think it's time for some greater things at the DMV, in our schools and churches, in traffic jams and in government buildings?
Until next time...
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