For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing, and he will show him greater works than these so that you will be amazed. (John 5:20)
This has been such an encouraging verse to study out. We looked at the first part of it in my last blog. Now, we’re looking at the part where it says that God will show Jesus greater works than these. Greater works than what? Than the healing of the man at the pool, which Jesus had just performed.
Jesus says that when his listeners see these greater works, they will be amazed. So I looked up every place in the gospels where this same Greek word for amazed was used. I found that people marveled when Jesus calmed the wind and the waves. They were filled with wonder as they saw people receive sight who had never been able to see, people receive voice who had never been able to talk, people receive mobility who had never been able to walk. Their jaws dropped when a man who was hopelessly possessed became in his right mind. They were floored when he made a fig tree wither. They were astounded at wisdom of Jesus, especially knowing that he hadn’t been formally taught. They were so astonished when he cast out a demon from a mute man, and the man began to talk, that they said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
It’s really good for me to remember how amazing the works of God through Jesus were, because right now I’m surrounded with some really tough, heart breaking, life changing situations. I want to say, “God, I’m praying, but I don’t know if you’re hearing me, or if you’ll act powerfully in these situations.” But when I read this list of miraculous deeds, I know that God can still astound.
Because the last part of the verse says that God exerts his power so that we will be filled with wonder. In other words, so that we will see that he is God, and there is no other, and subsequently glorify him. God always seeks his own glory. It’s just expressing the truth. He’s the Almighty and All Powerful. All glory is due him.
So God will seek to be glorified through today’s tough situations, one way or another. And as I reflect on this, I start to recall all of the ways I can marvel at God right now. I marvel that my life was orchestrated in such a way that I came to faith. I marvel at the ways God worked in my marriage. I marvel at how he allowed my husband to grow in his career and provide for us. I marvel at how, even in the past year, I’ve healed in ways I never had before. I marvel at the impact our church has had. I marvel at lives I’ve seen change, and people I’ve seen come to faith.
And that reminds me of what Jesus says later in John, “Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
Jesus promises that it isn’t only that God will show everyone greater things through the life of Jesus. It’s also that God will show greater things through our lives, because Jesus is interceding for us. I believe that my list of reasons to marvel is evidence of this.
So I can’t be despondent. I have to open my eyes to who I serve and worship. And who I serve is amazing.
I love that it’s the time of year when we think about how Jesus fulfilled the prophesies of his birth. One of my favorite ones is in Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born. . . His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
His name shall be Wonderful. That very word suggests the surpassing, the miraculous, the incredible.
Wonderful is what God set in motion.
May we expect more, and be more at peace.
May we know that God will be glorified.
May we fall on our knees acknowledging what has been done, and what will yet be accomplished.
(Photo credit Pete Linforth)