What is the Outrageous Promise?

The Outrageous Promise is found in John 14:12.  Jesus says something extraordinary to His followers,

“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.”

The apostle John uses the word “work” (ἔργα in Greek). How he uses “work” throughout his gospel helps us understand what Jesus is promising to us in this call to greater works.

“Work/ἔργα” is used in the following passages. As we take a prayerful look, we find that the works Jesus did are characterized by …

·        … engaging the marginalized and introducing people to the Messiah (John 4:34 – his dialogue with the woman at the well; see the context from John 4:1-26),

·        … Jesus’ compassion regarding the most basic needs of others and their need to believe in Him (John 6:27-30 – Jesus is with a crowd following Him after He fed the 5,000; see context from John 6:22-40),

·        …healing the blind, and then seeing that man put his faith in Jesus – Jesus urged his disciples to work with diligence towards this type of ministry (John 9:3-5 – in discussion with His disciples about the origin of a man’s blindness; see context from John 9:18-31)

·        …establishing men and women in a faith-walk with Him saturates His prayer right before going to the cross (John 17:4 - Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer; see John 17:1-26)

The Outrageous Promise, a call to greater works, involves seeing more and more people being touched by the works and ministry of Jesus.  It is sharing the gospel of Jesus as love is put into action. It is loving people with the truth and living-touch of the Gospel – meeting a need, bringing healing, engaging people where they are, and bringing His word that they may turn in faith to Him.