Books & Products
DO THE WORKS OF JESUS
A. Introduction: We are studying the subject of faith and want to continue to do so in this lesson.
1. When Jesus was on earth He said that through faith we can move mountains and kill fig trees. He said all things are possible to the one who believes. Matt 17:20; 21:21,22; Mark 9:23; 11:23
a. These verses are a source of frustration for us because they don't work for most of us like Jesus said they would.
b. We are trying to identify reasons why it doesn't work for us like Jesus said it would.
2. Jesus made another statement while on earth which can give us insight into this whole issue of mountain moving, fig tree killing faith. John 14:12
a. Jesus said believers would do the works He did and greater works than He did.
b. Note three key points in this verse:
1. It is addressed to those who believe on Jesus -- believers.
2. Jesus said believers would do the works He did and greater works.
3. Jesus said this would happen because He went to the Father.
3. In this lesson, we want to consider these things and see how they relate to mountain moving, fig tree killing faith.
B. Let's first ask the question: What kind of works did Jesus do while on earth? We'd have to read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to fully answer that question. But, consider these points:
1. I John 3:8; Acts 10:38--Jesus did good and He destroyed the works of the devil.
2. The works of Jesus included speaking to the fig tree (the hypocrite tree). Matt 21:21,22
3. Matthew 8 describes a typical day in the life of Jesus.
a. Notice, Jesus would speak to things and they would change. They would obey Him. Note these verses: 3,13,15 (Luke 4:39),16,26,32.
b. Remember, Jesus did these things as a man united to the Father, anointed by the Holy Spirit.
John 6:57; Phil 2:6-8
4. Before going any farther, let's answer this question. What did Jesus mean when He said believers would do greater works?
a. First, it meant greater in numbers. There was only one Jesus. There are millions of believers. Matt 9:36-38; 10:1
b. Second, no one was born again under the earth ministry of Jesus (until after He rose from the dead) or baptized in the Holy Ghost (until the day of Pentecost). We have the privilege of being involved in both of those works.
C. Let's next consider how Jesus did the works He did.
1. We get insight into how Jesus worked His works in the account of Him cursing the fig tree.
a. Jesus first demonstrated mountain moving, fig tree killing faith (Mark 11:12-14).
b. Then, He explained how it worked (Mark 11:22,23).
2. The first thing Jesus said to His disciples in explanation of His work was “Have faith in God”.
a. That literally means “Have the faith of God”. We are to have or operate in the same kind of faith God has and by which He operates.
b. If that sounds presumptuous to you, remember: We are to be imitators of God (Eph 5:1). We are to do the works of Jesus (John 14:12). We are to walk even as Jesus walked (I John 2:6).
3. How do we obtain and operate in the faith of God?
a. At the new birth, we are filled with the life of God and we are united to the faith of God.
Rom 12:3; Heb 12:2
b. That faith is increased and developed by the word of God. Rom 10:17
4. God's faith is expressed through His words. He speaks and expects what He says to come to pass.
Isa 55:11; Jer 1:12
a. That is exactly what Jesus did when He spoke to the fig tree. He expected what He said to come to pass.
b. God's word is His faith expressed. The faith by which God operates speaks and then expects what is spoken to come to pass.
c. We can, we are, to function that way as well -- with the faith of God, faith that believes what it says will come to pass.
5. That is exactly what Jesus says in v23 -- Have the faith of God (the faith which speaks and believes what it says will come to pass), because I tell you that whosoever speaks to something and believes that what He says will come to pass, it will come to pass. That's what I did to the fig tree.
a. In Matt 21:21 Jesus specifically said -- you can do this, too.
b. Notice two key points about Mark 11:23.
1. Jesus authorized His followers to speak to things and see them obey.
2. Jesus said mountain moving, fig tree killing faith believes something very specific. It believes that what it says will come to pass.
3. To believe in this instance means to expect what you say to come to pass.
d. Does this mean you can speak to ten million oil wells and command them to be yours? No.
1. John 14:12 sets some perimeters for us. We are to do the works of Jesus.
2. What works did Jesus do? What did Jesus speak to? What did Jesus change? Diseases, demons, dangerous storms, etc.
6. Why did this work for Jesus? Remember, He did not do these things as God, He did them as a man united to the Father, anointed with the Holy Spirit.
a. Jesus was authorized to speak the Father's words.
b. The Father in Him backed those words and did the works. John 4:34; 8:28,29; 14:9-11
c. That's how and why Jesus could and did expect what He said to come to pass. John 11:41-44
7. Why will this work for us?
a. First, the word of God, Jesus Christ, says it will.
b. Second, we have been authorized and empowered to speak to things through the new birth.
c. That leads to the third point in our key verse, John 14:12.
D. Jesus said a believer can do the works He did because “I go to the Father”. What does that have to do with mountain moving, fig tree killing faith?
1. “Because I go to the Father” refers to Jesus returning to heaven after He accomplished His mission on earth, culminating in His death, burial, and resurrection.
2. There are many things we could say about Jesus' return to heaven and its significance for us.
a. The fact that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father means that the work of redemption is fully, completely accomplished. Heb 1:3
b. His return to heaven meant that Jesus and the Father could send the Holy Spirit to do in us and through us all that Jesus did for us through the Cross. John 16:7; Acts 2:33
3. But, we want to focus on the position of authority that was given to the resurrected Lord Jesus when He went back to His Father. Phil 2:5-11; Eph 1:20-23
a. Eph 1:22,23--And all things He put in subjection under His feet, and Him He gave as Head over all things to the Church, which is of such a nature as to be His body, the fulness of the One who constantly is filling all things with all things. (Wuest)
b. The name and authority given to Jesus was given to Him for the sake of His body.
c. The authority He won for us as us through His resurrection victory is delegated to us in the use of His name.
d. We are to use His name and authority now to do the works He did and greater works.
Matt 28:17-20; Mark 16:15-20
4. We have been authorized to use the name of Jesus or speak in His name to do the works He did.
a. We do not use the name as a magic charm, we use it representatively.
b. Jesus died as our representative. We now live as His representatives.
c. The right to use His name means we are to represent Him, act in His stead, with the same authority He had.
5. That brings us back to what Jesus said immediately after He said we could do the works He did.
a. These are not prayer verses. They are authority verses. John 16:23,24 is a prayer verse.
b. These verses have the idea of speaking or demanding in the name of Jesus. Acts 3:1-8
c. Jesus said that whatever we demand in His name, as His representatives with His authority, He will do it.
6. That is why we can, we are, to believe (expect) that what we say shall come to pass.
a. Jesus Christ, who cannot lie, who cannot fail, said He would do it.
b. Heb 7:22--Jesus is back of every work He has spoken. He will do it. He will back it.
E. Faith got us into the family of God, into the body of Christ. Eph 2:8,9
1. Now that we are in the family and are part of the body of Christ, everything that belongs to the family, to the body, is ours -- whether we believe it or not.
a. A believing one possesses authority and the right to use the name of Jesus, not because He believes it, but because He is a believer.
b. It doesn't take special faith to use the name of Jesus or to do the works of Jesus.
c. It takes being authorized (which you are because you are in the family, in the body) and walking in the light of it.
1. At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus had no sense of faith or lack of faith.
2. He simply had knowledge of who He was, of what He was authorized to do, and of His Father's faithfulness to back Him.
2. It is faith (walking by unseen realities), but it is an unconscious faith.
a. You don't think of your faith or lack of it, you only think of God's provision.
b. Mustard seed faith is unconscious faith. It is acting like what you are and have because God cannot lie or fail.
3. Mountain moving, fig tree killing faith (mustard seed faith) is fully persuaded that what God says is so or will become so. Mountain moving, fig tree killing faith needs no evidence but God's word.
a. It expects what it says to come to pass because Jesus said it would.
b. Most of us would say -- I know all that. But, I tried it and it didn't work.
c. That's sense knowledge faith. What you see and feel settles it for you.
4. How do you get beyond sense knowledge faith? How do you become fully persuaded that what God says is so or will become so?
a. You must take time to meditate on these truths from God's word. Matt 17:20,21
b. Think about it. Where did your faith (confidence) in doctors and medicine come from?
1. You were born in a hospital. The first person to touch you was a doctor.
2. How many times have you heard about drugs, medicine, medical treatment in your life time? How many times have you heard about medicine just today?
3. If medical help doesn't work for someone, do you give up on it? Of course not! Just because it didn't work for them doesn't mean it won't work for you.
c. You are fully persuaded, completely convinced that medicine is vital and that it works because you've heard it over and over until you have an unconscious faith in it.
F. Conclusion: When Jesus Christ was on earth, He said we could do the works He did. We can speak to things and see them change.
1. Why can we do those works? Because we are authorized to speak in His name.
2. Why can we expect them to happen? Because Jesus said He will back it when we speak His words in His name.
3. With a knowledge of your privileges as a son of God coupled with a persistent spirit that will not admit defeat, you can cast into the sea any mountain that stands before you. You can do the works of Jesus.