"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.
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father."
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
CHRIST PRESENTS HIS WORKS as evidence for faith in him, because faith in Christ means faith in all the words and actions of Christ. This is a mysterious and wonderful balance, that faith in Christ is the source of works that match the works of Christ. This brings us to the eternal truth that faith in Christ equals Christ in what he does and says. 1 Matt. 28:20.
2 See John 14:16, 26; 16:7, 13, 14.
Before his departure, Christ left us mighty power that brings about his presence in words and actions, for it is not man who is acting and speaking but Christ himself is present by faith. This is the greatest of Christ’s works on earth, that he deposited himself, his spirit, his words and works, into a true and continual presence through honest and sincere faith in him. So Christ’s statement, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,”1 is realized by faith, which in every moment brings about his presence, words and works.
It is a huge theological mystery that Jesus Christ departed only in body, and he remained with us unhindered in what he does and says. This is one of the mysteries of the incarnation. The incarnation appeared to us in the dimension of time and for a limited period, and then departed in body, but the truth is that he remained through the mystery of his divinity as the word, the light of life, which if we become separated from it we enter eternal darkness. He is a living and effective presence by his words and works that require faith, for man cannot live outside of Christ. What is achieved through faith in Christ is our entrance into the mystery of divine fellowship with Christ. He is in us and we are in him, with no possibility of separation or independence.
This is why Christ says, “Whatever you ask in my name I will do.” Christ goes further in confirming this truth by doing what we ask even if it is too big for us, not to satisfy us but to complete the glorification of the Father who hears and does according to the hope of the Son.
So Christ assured the disciples not to be sad even though he was leaving them. On the contrary, they should rejoice because now his presence with them would increase in power and effectiveness. Even if they ask for things too big for them, he will certainly answer and do so the Father is glorified in the Son.
The ascension of the Son to heaven brought mankind into a new position, higher than when he was present among them. Christ saw this truth and continued to assure them that they should rejoice that he is leaving them to go to the Father because this is in their favor, for they are the ones who benefit from the departure of Christ to the Father. Christ assured them further that he would send the Comforter from the Father, who takes what is Christ’s and gives it to them, teaches them all truth and reminds them of all Christ said and taught.2 All of this reveals that the ascent of Christ to the Father was for the good of man. In turn man must take advantage of this and ask for what he wants.
July 28, 2005
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