Ministering As Jesus Did
by Pastor Jim Feeney, Ph.D.
- Summary: Imagine yourself healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, or casting out demons! Jesus Christ said that you can do these things and more. Based on what? — on faith, on believing in Him. If you can believe, you too can do the mighty works that Jesus did. He Himself has promised you this!
John 14:12, KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
- •• This is a plain-language promise from Jesus Himself: if you believe on Him, you can do the works that He did. In a moment we will look at some of Jesus’ mighty works and then see examples of mere mortal human beings like you and me doing these very same works. Why? How could they? How could we? Because of our faith in Jesus and His unfailing promises.
John 6:28-29, KJV Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
- •• Again, as in John 14:12, doing the “works of God” is linked to believing in Jesus. Too many in the Church today have relegated signs, wonders, healing, and miracles to the early Church only. But Jesus never put a time limit on the powerful results of faith in Him!
Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
- •• This quote is from Mark’s account of the Great Commission, which certainly applies to the entire Church Age. Likewise, believers throughout the Church Age can expect to experience the supernatural signs that Jesus promised to believers — including healings and the casting out of demons.
- • I invite you now to join me in an inspiring look at some of the supernatural signs, wonders, healings, and miracles that Jesus did. Then we will look at illustrations of believers who have done mighty works of the same sort. How? By believing in Jesus. Remember —
• John 14:12, KJV ...He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also...
• Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe...
• Supernatural Words of Knowledge —
John 4:7, 16-19 ...a Samaritan woman came to draw water...  He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.”
- •• All indications are that Jesus had never met the woman. Yet by a supernatural “word of knowledge” (1 Corinthians 12:8) He perceived that she had had five husbands and was now living in sin with another man who was not her husband. Jesus voiced this revelation, and it pierced the woman’s heart, prompted her to testify of Jesus back in town, and ended up bringing revival to that area (vss. 28-42).
- • Can we Christian believers expect to minister in supernatural ways like this? Yes! Jesus promised so.
• I recall a remarkably similar incident that occurred during a church service in Anchorage, Alaska. During a pause in the worship service, a brother came to the microphone and said, “I believe that someone who is here today needs to get saved.” Well, I must admit that I groaned inwardly, because among the 1,000 or so people in attendance, surely there were those needing to be saved. So I dismissed the brother’s word as just the good intentions of his heart, but not a word from the Lord. However, he was not done speaking. He continued by saying, “...and you know who you are, because you drank two beers before coming to church this morning.” Well, immediately a man near the front of the church raised his hand, signifying that he was that man. He went out and prayed with a couple of the church's elders and was wonderfully saved.
• This was a supernatural word of knowledge from God, ministered by a young man who did not know these facts naturally but simply had faith in the Lord to be used. You too can be used in similar ways, if you believe the Lord.
• Supernatural Healings —
Matthew 12:9-10a, 13 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there....  Then [Jesus] said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.
- •• “Completely restored”! — imagine the stir that this created. Imagine the stir a dramatic public healing like this would create today. Can it happen? Is it possible that you could be used to heal the sick? Yes!
- • Remember, Jesus promised in John 14:12, KJV ...He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also... and in Mark 16:17 And these signs [healing was mentioned] will accompany those who believe...
• Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe these promises of His concerning believers being used supernaturally?
• Some years ago my wife and I were in an evangelistic service in Valdez, Alaska. My wife had for years suffered pain induced by one of her legs being shorter than the other. Well, a woman of faith in that meeting prayed for my wife, and that leg visibly stretched forth, just as the lame man’s hand had stretched forth in the synagogue. She literally, physically felt as if God had gently pulled her leg out and left it at the new length. From that day to this, the previous pain is gone. What happened there in Valdez, Alaska? Quite simply, a believing woman prayed in faith, and God healed as a result.
• And don’t do yourself the disservice of saying, “Well, those healings were limited to the great apostles in bible days.” Not at all! Remember that God healed Saul of Tarsus’ blindness by the ministry of a man named Ananias, who is described in the bible simply as “a disciple” (Acts 9:10, 17) and “a devout man” (Acts 22:12, KJV). Not an apostle, not a pastor or elder, simply a devout, God-believing disciple. If that describes you, then you too can be used powerfully by God.
• A Supernatural Revelation —
John 21:18-19a “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
- •• This was knowable to Jesus in advance only by supernatural revelation. He accurately foretold aspects of Peter’s later martyrdom many years before the actual event. This too is a realm of ministry available (with carefulness and godly wisdom) to sincere believers.
- • My wife had been barren for the first six years of our marriage. A medical doctor had earlier diagnosed a specific infertility condition. We longed for children. Then one day, in that sixth year of our childlessness, a woman of faith from our church came and said that during the previous night God had spoken to her to tell my wife, “Your barren days are over.” The next year my wife gave birth to the first of the four wonderful children that she bore to us. All without medical means. The Lord healed, and He had spoken of this coming healing in a supernatural revelation to a woman willing to believe the Lord — “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14:12, KJV).
• Discerning of Demon Spirits —
Matthew 17:15-18 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” ...  Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.
- •• Seizures, uncontrollable body movements. Today this would be automatically diagnosed as epilepsy or some similar medical condition. Jesus, however, perceived the cause in this case as a demon. He cast out the demon, and the boy was healed instantly. Remember, Jesus said that believers can do the same mighty works!
- • Mark 16:17a “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons.” And as needed, believers will be given the supernatural ability to discern those demons — 1 Corinthians 12:10, KJV ...to another discerning of spirits...
• My wife and I were called to the home of a young mother who had become suicidal and was acting in extremely bizarre ways totally unlike her prior conduct. We immediately discerned demonic activity, but tried unsuccessfully for several hours to drive the demons out. So we stopped our attempts at exorcism and called on the Lord for His help. Immediately I received a revelation of the nature of the demonic entrance into her life. We addressed this directly and in Jesus' name commanded the demons to come out. In short order, screaming and speaking through her mouth, four demons came out. We immediately spoke the Gospel to the young woman, and she was very quickly saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. She was laughing joyfully and saying, “This is what I’ve always wanted.” She was happily attending church the next Sunday, delivered and victorious.
• Illustrations like this abound, where men and women of simple and sincere faith take Jesus at His word — He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also... (John 14:12, KJV).
• Jesus Walked on Water —
Matthew 14:25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
- •• Jesus’ miraculous walk on the waters of the Sea of Galilee is recorded also in Mark’s and John’s Gospels. Certainly this is not given as an example of “everyday” miracles we should expect. However, we do wrong to rule out occasional miracles of this magnitude in the lives of Christian believers.
- • Let’s read a few verses further, in Matthew 14:28-29 — “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
• Peter walked on the same water Jesus walked on! How did he do that? He simply believed Jesus’ word to Him: “Come!” and Peter obeyed. The result? He walked on the water. Remember Jesus’ promise: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also...” (John 14:12, KJV). Peter believed, he obeyed, and he walked on the water. Let me add two comments:
- 1) The succeeding verses show Peter’s courage soon failing in the face of the winds and the waves. Then he began to sink before Jesus rescued him. Do not let Peter’s lapse of faith obscure the reality that, prior to his letting fear take over, Peter had walked on the water in a faithful response to Jesus’ word “Come”.
2) Do not confuse faith with presumption. Peter responded in faith to a word from Jesus to “come” to Jesus on the water. If Jesus had not so summoned Peter, then Peter would have been acting presumptuously in stepping out of the boat, and he would almost certainly have immediately sunk. Be sure that you are responding in faith to Jesus, not acting in self-willed presumption.
• Jesus Raised the Dead —
Luke 7:14-15 Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. (See other raisings of the dead by Jesus in John 11:43-44 and Mark 5:35-42.)
- •• Perhaps no more dramatic miracle can occur than the raising of a dead person to life. Jesus did this three times during His ministry on earth. But here too, be careful not to relegate miracles of this stature only to Jesus. Remember again that Jesus said believers would do the powerful works that He was doing, and “even greater” (John 14:12).
- • These words of Jesus must have been welling up in Peter’s heart (Acts 9:36-41) when he said to the dead woman , “Tabitha, get up!” And the dead woman opened her eyes and sat up (vs. 40).
• The apostle Paul, another Christian with unshakable faith in Jesus, raised to life the young man Eutychus, who “fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead” (Acts 20:9-10). How was this possible? Again, unwavering faith in Jesus, who said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do” (John 14:12, KJV).
Our Lord Jesus Christ, while on earth, amazed the onlookers by the mighty works which He did. A small sampling of them included:
- • Healing the sick
• Raising the dead
• Cleansing the lepers
• Casting our demons
• Walking on water
• Receiving supernatural revelations
• And much, much more
All these mighty works — “and greater” — can be done by the believing, faith-filled Christian Church that now serves Him on this earth. To this faithful band of believers Jesus has said —
- •• John 14:12, KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
•• Jesus has returned to God the Father in heaven. And now His believing Church on earth is entitled to continue to minister the Gospel and to see the Word confirmed with the same mighty signs and wonders that Jesus Himself did. Accept Jesus at His word; believe Him; believe in Him. And expect to see a dramatic outpouring of His power on this earth, as His faithful followers believe Him to loose His power in and through our ministries.
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©2007, James H. Feeney. Copyright statement.