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. (Jn 14:12)
We often regard these verses as a statement of fact (which I believe they are!) but it has struck me over the past few days as I have been meditating on this verse, that it is also an expression of heart. That is, Jesus was not just telling his disciples what was going to happen, nor just giving them a promise to cling onto, but these are also the words of a teacher imparting to his disciples his heartfelt desire for them: Go beyond. Take everything I have taught you, and go further!
It made me think of the people that God has entrusted to my care, in whatever capacity that might be. As a cellgroup leader, as a preacher and teacher, as a discipler, and as a father. What is my heart for those in my care? What do I see when I look at them? Am I guilty of subconsciously thinking: Do what I do, catch what I have caught, and maybe one day you will get close to where I am now? Or do I rejoice, like Jesus, at the thought that those who follow will take everything entrusted to them, but use it to go further into greater things than I have ever achieved?
This is one of the ways Saul went wrong. He felt threatened by the greater anointing that was on David, rather than rejoicing at the thought of what a man like David could do for God's kingdom. David on the other hand got it right, because even though he was told that it would be his son, not him, who established the house of the Lord, he nevertheless rejoiced, and did all he could to make sure that is son was equipped to fulfill his calling.
Don't get me wrong, I have no intention of slowing down or stopping short so that others can pass, but I do want to catch more of that kingdom heart of Christ, to expect that those who follow will run faster and further.
We must never be guilty of keeping people down to preserve our own reputation or honour or ministry, but we should rejoice, like Jesus and David at the thought of releasing those who will do greater things than us for the glory of God and for his Kingdom.