Do I have strong faith that Jesus will do whatever I ask in His name (which also implies I am asking according to His character and His will)?
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
INSIGHT: Most of the great Reformers of the faith and the early giants of the faith believe Jesus means greater in number—not greater in deed. After all, who has ever walked on water, instantly silenced a storm, or fed nearly 15,000 people from a sack lunch? Jesus’ earthly ministry only lasted 3.5 years before He returned to the Father. Thus, many people have done a greater number of things in ministry than Jesus has since they were here longer. Think of George Muller, Hudson Taylor, D.L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Graham, Charles Stanley and countless others. Jesus may have touched thousands—they have touched millions by having strong faith in God through prayer. I also believe, like them, that the Apostolic age died with the death of John on the island of Patmos and that the Apostles were given very special authority to work signs wonders and miracles, at will, for the building of the foundation of the church and that no man has had this since. However, God still does amazing and huge things through His people, but it requires childlike faith and dependence on God’s will. This was not true for the Apostles, who could heal 100% of the people at will (Acts 5:16). They had such special authority that people were even healed by their shadows and handkerchiefs (Acts 5:15-16, 19:11-12). Most believe this apostolic age of authority ended around 60 years after Jesus spoke these words, with the death of the Apostle John. If the Apostles or anyone like them were on earth today, we would send them to the hospitals to snatch every single person out of their sick beds. There is no one on the planet that can do that anymore. That means the apostolic age was different than what we have today. It was the foundation of the church and a foundation is laid only once (Eph 2:20, Rev 21:14). Paul himself even refers to the signs and miracles done by the Apostles, in the past tense (Heb 2:4).
On the other hand, one day when I was inquiring of God about this passage and its meaning. I said, “Lord, I have never done anything greater than you.” Instantly my 777 day miraculous divorce flashes in my head. It was like God said to me, “Which is greater, for me to raise someone from the dead, or for me to tell you in advance that your divorce will end on the 777th day, show you 777 over 100 times by my providence while you waited, rearranging and directing thousands of details over two years surrounding the schedules of the court, the judges, the attorneys, your time, your ex-wife’s, etc.,? And then when it was over, I told you to read page 777 in your Bible where it says I am the ultimate executor of justice and I am the one who can give you justice when no earthly court can. Which of these required more of my power, time, and attention? I was stunned with this realization, but I continued, “But Lord, I did not do that greater work—you did!” I was prompted to keep reading…v. 13 “And I will do whatever you ask…you may ask me for anything and I will do it.”
Praise God! I had a new understanding right then and there of this teaching. I realized I had been a part of something even greater than some of the things that Jesus did on earth, but I also realized the necessary connection between His power and my childlike faith and obedience, not my authority to act apart from Him, as the apostles were able to do. My part was to humbly ask, and trust His will, not to declare my will be done. NOTE: The devil is still doing his counterfeit signs and wonders through false apostles and many get sucked into that! Be CAREFUL! (2 Cor 11:12-15, 2 Thes 2:9, Rev 2:2)