In the postmodern, consumer driven society we live in people often respond to an invitation to come to worship services, place membership, or become a Christian with the question of, “What’s in it for me?” We often respond that it is not a matter of what I can get, but what I can give. While this is true I think it may be a misguided answer to the question. What I can give is a sign of spiritual growth and maturity. May I suggest that we do indeed receive something from Christ and the church in fact we receive “Great Things!”
In John chapter one we learn that when Philip initially decided to follow Jesus he first Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote— Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael replied, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” So Philip said, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him He said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael replied, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Then Jesus replied to Nathanael, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these” (John 1:43-51).
Indeed he did see great things while with Christ. The disciples saw the blind healed, the leper made whole, the mute speak, the lame walk, the hungry feed, and the dead brought back to life. When He cast the unclean demon from the man in the land of Gadara, east of the Jordan, the man wanted to follow Jesus. Instead, Jesus told him to, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you” (Mark 5:19).
Now we have the inspired, preserved Word of God, that details all these things for us so we can know His person, His power, and His promises. Yet John says, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).
The faithful, obedient child of God understands that the great things Jesus did while here on earth are overshadowed by the great things we have in Him today. Sure, we suffer trials, are tempted by sin, and even persecuted. But when we look beyond the empirical, selfish, temporary world we understand a few wonderful truths: we have all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), we have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), we have peace of mind that keeps us (Philippians 4:7), we have the forgiveness of our sins (Colossians 1:14), we have fellowship with each other and with the Godhead (1 John 1:5-7), and we have an abundant life (John 10:10)! What one will experience in Christ is the greatest life a man can live!
But it doesn’t end there! Paul would by inspiration write that, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:1-3).
What are you waiting for? Come and see! Be faithful.