“Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do”

If we believe in someone, don’t we emulate their behavior? In John 14:6-14, Jesus tells us to follow His lead.

Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

This passage is full of important messages. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. If you know Jesus, you know the Father – if you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Jesus’ works are the Father’s. Whatever you ask in Jesus’ name, He will do it. And, finally, whoever believes in Jesus will do the works that He does.

This passage is a uniting of the Father and the Son, in purpose, in voice, and in deed. And it is calling on us to do the good works that Jesus did, which really are the works the Father did through Jesus. So we are being commanded to love God, love one another, assist one another, and save one another by the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ and in His name.

I hear a lot of preaching to fear God, to condemn sinners, and to ignore the needs of others because they are afflicted through their sins. But if you read the Gospels, there are no such messages. If you believe in Jesus, don’t follow this preaching but follow His preaching, which is to love God not fear Him, which is to love your neighbor not condemn him as a sinner, which is to care for him in his need not ignore him. Jesus didn’t die on the cross for you to hate or oppress others but for you to love and embrace others — to follow in His footsteps, that you might also follow Him in resurrection after death.

Whoever believes in Jesus will do the works that he did (and continues to do now). He healed. He provided. He embraced. He loved. He especially healed, provided for, embraced, and loved the downtrodden, the poor, the disabled, and, yes, the sinner. Your job isn’t to condemn and ignore but to embrace others. That is what Jesus would do.

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