Jesus told His first followers, “He who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do” (John 14:12). And they did! Those He was speaking to at the time carried the Gospel much further than Jesus had been able to during His brief public ministry, and those they reached carried it even further.
But some Christians today look at all the miracles Jesus performed and think, What are You talking about, Lord? We couldn’t possibly do greater things than You did during Your earthly ministry! You raised the dead, healed the sick, fed the multitudes. How could You say that we could do greater things?
For a start, we could feed a bigger multitude than Jesus ever fed. Jesus multiplied five loaves of bread and two small fish to feed 5,000 people for one day (John 6:5-13), but one dedicated Christian could feed many more than that over a lifetime, and not with mere food for the body but with the Bread of Life—Jesus (John 6:48-50).
Jesus raised the dead. What can we do? We can raise people to new spiritual life to live forever! The people the Lord raised from the dead eventually died again physically, but when we lead people to believe in Jesus and receive His gift of salvation, eternal life, we’re helping them to live forever. Jesus also reached people with the message of salvation, of course, but He only had a little over three years for His public ministry. The average Christian has many more years than that.
Jesus healed the sick, and He has commissioned and empowered us to do the same: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). We can pray for people’s physical healing, and if we have faith and it’s His will, He will heal them. And by giving people the Gospel we can also help heal them of their spiritual diseases, which are often a whole lot worse than physical diseases.
Why shouldn’t we do “greater things”? The world population is greater, the need is greater, the opportunities are greater, and the means are far greater with the printed word, radio, television, air travel, the postal system, the Internet, and much, much more. We’ve got the greatest opportunities in history and all the means at our disposal. If we will stay close to Jesus, He will help us surmount whatever obstacles we may encounter, win victories, and accomplish His purposes.
Of course, Jesus is the One who does all those things through us. Jesus never personally preached the Gospel to so many people as it’s possible for us to preach it to now, and He never won as many souls as are being won today. Of course, He is winning them all, but while He was here physically, He never saved as many or healed as many.
We are a privileged generation. Privileged to perhaps go through the worst time in all world history, the coming Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), perhaps even privileged to suffer for the Lord and the Gospel (Matthew 5:11-12), but also privileged to watch the Endtime events develop and possibly even see Jesus’ return. Think of that! We could be the only generation in all history that will witness that event—except, of course, for the great cloud of witnesses in Heaven (Hebrews 12:1).
As Jesus said, “This generation”—the generation that sees the events of the Endtime being fulfilled—“will by no means pass away till all these things take place (Matthew 24:34). We have seen all the signs that Jesus said would precede His coming happen in this generation, including the Gospel being preached throughout the world (Matthew 24:14). The Gospel now has been preached in all nations to all peoples everywhere! Countries that were closed to the Gospel when I was young are now open to the Gospel. “Greater things than these shall you do!”
The Gospel has been preached in all nations, but there are still billions of individuals who have never heard the true Gospel. Even if they have heard of Christianity and the name of Jesus, most people haven’t heard how they can be saved, or even that they can be saved. They don’t know who Jesus really was—just that He was “a great teacher, prophet, guru, or rabbi who the Christians believe in, not much different than the key figures in other religions.”
But Jesus is much more than that, of course. Jesus is the way to salvation—the only way. “By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
The Lord is requiring this generation, and most of the world’s population since the beginning of time, to believe and receive salvation by faith in His Word, without visible, tangible proof. “Faith comes by hearing the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). When we choose to open our hearts to the Word of God, faith springs forth and we believe.
In the Millennium—the coming thousand-year reign of Christ on earth after His return—faith will come by not only hearing the Word of God, but seeing. People will see the Kingdom of God on earth. Nobody will have to be convinced then that there’s a God and that Jesus Christ His Son is the King of kings, because they will see the evidence of it on every hand. We won’t have to convince anyone then that God and Jesus are real, or persuade people to believe. All we’ll need to do is invite them to receive God’s love in Jesus and be saved.
But Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Today, our faith is built on the Word alone—not on any supernatural, miraculous manifestations of the spirit world—and for that Jesus said that we are more blessed. That is a principle of the spiritual Kingdom of God: Jesus is going to bless those who have believed His Word by faith, including His death on the cross. We weren’t there at the cross. We didn’t see it happen. We don’t know anything about it except what we read about it in the Bible or what somebody told us.
The only way people can be saved today is by God’s Word—by somebody telling them about the love of Jesus, and showing them the love of Jesus, too, in their face and in their deeds. The only proof people can see today is the proof they see in those who spread the Gospel, the witnesses! The only way they can find faith is by seeing the Word in you and hearing the Word through you.
As a witness, you become the Word of God! Just as Jesus was the Word of God when He was on earth (John 1:14), you are the Word of God whenever you carry the Word of God and the message of salvation. If you have the Spirit of Christ, if you have Jesus in your heart, if you manifest the love of Jesus, then you are going to be like Him.
There are billions who have never heard what it takes to be saved or had a chance to understand what Jesus did on the cross, because they have never heard the true Gospel, much less seen the Gospel in you. The only proof of the Gospel that people today are going to get is the proof they see in you. The only Jesus they’re going to see is the Jesus they see in you.
As the famous American evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) said, “The only Bible the world reads is the one bound in shoe leather!” He must have gotten that lesson from selling shoes. Before he found Jesus, he had been a shoe salesman. But as soon as he got saved at age 18, he began preaching the Gospel one on one and became a great personal witness. That was his forte long before he started preaching to crowds. He was just a young shoe clerk who never even finished school, but soon he was winning so many people to Jesus that church leaders started coming to him to find out how he did it. He told them, “Watch me while I’m selling shoes. Watch how I witness.” He was a great proponent of personal witnessing because that’s how he had gotten saved, through one-on-one witnessing.
Edward D. Kimball led Moody to the Lord in the back of the shoe shop where Moody worked. Moody would have never become a great soul winner and preacher of the Gospel if it hadn’t been for this otherwise unheard-of Sunday school teacher, but Moody heard the Word of God and saw Jesus in Kimball!
Lots of people say, “I see a light on your face! I see something in you that I’ve never seen before!” They see Him in our faces and in our actions. They really feel the difference! That’s the one little confirmation God gives.
Someone has said, “You can’t prove that God exists. You can’t put God in a test tube and prove to me that God is real.” Well, whoever said that was wrong! If you have received Jesus, God has put Himself in you and you are the living, visible proof that there is a God. His creation is also proof, but you go even beyond that. Your physical body alone is the proof that there’s a God, but your love, the light in your eyes and on your faces, and the wonderful spirit that people feel from you proves not only that there’s a God, but also that He loves them. You’re the proof!
You’re the living proof of salvation. You’re the test tube that proves not only that there’s a God—which the whole world ought to be able to recognize just by observing His creation—but also that Jesus saves. But not everybody in the world has had that opportunity to hear and see the Gospel. They may have heard of Jesus, but they don’t really understand who He was or what He did or what He has to offer.
If they happen to live into the Millennium, they’ll get a chance then, but they won’t be as blessed as you or the ones you’re reaching with the Gospel now. You’re giving people the most marvelous opportunity in the world—the opportunity to be among the most blessed people who have ever lived or will yet live, who believed without seeing!
So praise the Lord! “Greater works than these shall you do,” not only now and in the years to come, but in the thousand years of millennium beyond that! Just think, we’re going to be governors of the world! (Revelation 20:6).
I’m trying to bring this down to earth and show you the reality of it all. We will help Jesus re-educate the whole world—what’s left of it—because the ones who survive the Battle of Armageddon will be mostly those who never heard how to get saved, didn’t understand Jesus, and therefore never had an opportunity to make a choice.
There will be all kinds of proof then, no problem, and people are going to believe because they have seen. But right now you’ve got the tough job of trying to get people to believe, even though they haven’t seen. They may not realize it, but they’re seeing the living proof right now when they look into your eyes and hear your words. You have become Jesus Christ to them—the Word of God! “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
In you, people are seeing the only Jesus they will ever see until they get to Heaven. You are not only Jesus to them, but you are the manifestation of the Word of God to them. You are the walking, talking Bible—the living Word of God today—because you have Jesus and you manifest Him and His Word.
The only thing that people are going to see to help prove to them that there is a God, that Jesus is who He says He is, and that there is real love to be found is what they see in you. And the only Word of God they’re going to pay any attention to is the Word they hear from you—the Bible bound in shoe leather—because most unbelievers aren’t going to read the Bible or other Christian literature until they see the sample first.
As I’ve often said, people have to fall in love with the Lord’s Spirit in you before they can fall in love with Him, because you represent the Lord to them. You’re the walking Word of God! You’re the living proof of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Jesus lives in you, right? So if people see any light, if they see any love, if they hear any truth, if they find any peace, if they find the way, they find it through seeing Jesus in you and hearing His Words through you. So that’s the biggest job we all have in these last days—to show Jesus to the world! Be the Word of God to the nations! Be the love of Christ to the world! The greatest thing you can do is to let others see Jesus in you!
While passing thro’ this world of sin,
And others your life shall view,
Be clean and pure without, within,
Let others see Jesus in you.
Your life’s a book before their eyes,
They’re reading it thro’ and thro’,
Say, does it point them to the skies,
Do others see Jesus in you?
What joy ’twill be at set of sun,
In mansions beyond the blue,
To find some souls that you have won.
Let others see Jesus in you.
Then live for Christ both day and night,
Be faithful, be brave, and true,
And lead the lost to life and light.
Let others see Jesus in you.
—B.B. McKinney (1886-1952)
When Jesus was here in human form, He was only one Jesus. But now there are millions of us all over the world who ought to be showing Jesus to the rest of the world! The world should be hearing Jesus through us. “Greater works than these shall ye do!” What greater work can you do than that, than to show Jesus to others and let them hear Jesus through you and help them find Jesus through you? That’s the greatest work anybody can do!
Miracles, supernatural happenings, gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), are all for one purpose—they are tools of the Holy Spirit to give the Gospel to the world, through you. So whatever gifts or talents the Lord has blessed you with, use them to win souls.
Just think of the eternal rewards you will reap for investing your time and energy in winning others to the Kingdom of God. “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the Gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time, and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30).
It’s a very great privilege to show Jesus to the world, but it’s also a big responsibility! So “be faithful, be brave, and be true. Lead the lost to life and light. Let others see Jesus in you!”