The Renown of His Works

“If I had not done among them the works that none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father” (John 15:24).

“The works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of Me” (John 10:25).

“The works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me” (John 5:36).

What were these works of our Lord “which none other man did”? Moses healed a leprous woman (Num. 12:13); Moses did mighty signs in Egypt; he even stretched his hand over the sea and the people of God went over on dry ground (Ex. 14:21-22). Joshua led the children of Israel on dry ground through the river Jordan (Josh. 3:9-17). Samuel called on the Lord and the Lord sent thunder and rain (1 Sam. 12:17-18). Elijah said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1). Both Elijah and Elisha smote the waters of Jordan and parted them (2 Kings 2:8-14). Elisha raised a dead child to life (2 Kings 4:33-37). Elisha fed a hundred men with twenty loaves of bread (2 Kings 4:42-44). A prophet healed Jeroboam’s withered arm (1 Kings 13:6).

Wherein lay the difference between these mighty works and the mighty works of the Lord Jesus? These Old Testament servants did their works to witness to another even to’ the Lord. The mighty works that our Lord did were the works of God to give testimony to the Son. The works of Christ bore witness to Himself. Our Lord healed the impotent man at Bethesda by His word to show that He was the true “house of mercy,” and that believing and hearing His word would bring life from the dead. (See John 5:24).

Jesus our Lord fed five thousand with five loaves and two little fishes to show that He was both “The Bread of God” and “The Bread of Life.” (See John 6:33, 48). He raised Lazarus to manifest that He was truly “The Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25); and that those who believed on Him, though they were dead, yet should they live.

The mighty works of our Lord bore witness of Himself. They told what He was and what He was able to do for those who believed on His name. In this His works were different.

When our Lord opened the eyes of one who was born blind, He said, “I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). The stupendous work authenticated the stupendous claim. Christ the Lord forgave the sins of a palsied man, and then it is said, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the sick of the palsy) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house” (Luke 5:24).

Had our Lord not been what He was, He could not have done what He did. His works were unique; they were not only mighty works, they gave testimony to a Mighty Worker.

The Father did the works.

Although our Lord did the works Himself, it is also true that the Father did them: “Believeth thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, He doeth the works” (John 14:10).

The works of our Lord revealed this oneness of the Father and Him. In this way His works were the “Works that none other man did.”

He walked upon the sea.

Our Lord walked upon the raging sea (Matt. 14:25-32); and on another occasion He “rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39); to show that He was the One who “stilled the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people” (Psalm 65:7).

He turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee, and “manifested forth His glory” (John 2:11). When Simon Magus would glorify himself, the offended Spirit of God condemned him to perdition immediately. (See Acts 8:18-23). When Peter and John raised an impotent man, they said to the people, “Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we have made this man to walk” (Acts 3:12).

When Paul and Barnabas were about to be worshipped because of the healing of the cripple at Lystra (Acts 14:8-18); they ran distracted among the people to restrain them from their purpose: “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein” (Acts 14:15). Worship belonged only to the Creator; Paul and Barnabas would not allow this honor to be done to them. But the Lord Jesus accepted the worship of the blind man whose eyes He opened. “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe in Him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is He that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord I believe. And he worshipped Him” (John 9:35-38). Our Lord also accepted the worship of the Samaritan who was cleansed from his leprosy (See Luke 17:15-17); also of a young ruler (See Matt. 9:18), and many others. (See Matt. 2:11, Matt. 8:2, Matt. 14:33, Matt. 15:25, Matt. 28:9 and 17, etc.).

His enemies acknowledged His works.

When our Lord raised Lazarus to life at Bethany, so near to Jerusalem, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered a council, and said, “What do we? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:47-48). The leaders of the nation acknowledged both the raising of Lazarus and all the other great miracles of the Lord. Incestuous Herod also acknowledged the mighty works of the Lord Jesus: “At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto His servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do show forth themselves in him” (Matt. 14:1-2).

How few were honest and sincere as Nicodemus who came to Jesus by night and said, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest except God be with him” (John 3:2).

Some even doubted whether He did the miracles. Our Lord’s brethren came to Him, and said, “Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth anything in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world” (John 7:3-4). The Spirit of God adds “For neither did his brethren believe on Him.”

His works were “signs.”

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 20:30-31).

There are then three great outstanding facts of the mighty works of the Lord Jesus:

(1) They were revelations of His glory; they manifested the exaltation of His person like the pure golden candlestick in the tabernacle in the wilderness, whose lamps were lighted to “give light over against it” (Ex. 25: 37) (literally over against the face of it): that precious and lovely vessel shed its light upon the perfection of its substance, and upon the beautiful adorning of “almonds, knobs and flowers.” So Christ our Lord in His gracious works shed the light of revelation upon Himself and upon His grace.

(2) The mighty works of our Lord were the works of the Father who dwelt in Him. They told the secret that Christ and His Father were one (John 10:30). They manifested that the Father was well pleased with all that the Son did. In this way our Lord stands out supreme and alone of all the children of men, “A standardbearer among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10). He is the one who is altogether lovely. Where men had grieved God in His heart (Gen. 6:6), the Lord Jesus caused the Father to say, “This is my believed Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17).

(3) The mighty works of the Lord Jesus were done, and the record of them was written, for our blessing and salvation. “That ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God: and that believing ye might have life through His name” (John 20:31). This is the renown of His works; the glory that was revealed in them, the love of the Father for the Son that was manifested by them, and the grace and love toward you and me of which they are the imperishable evidence. Whether we think of His words or His works, He is “a plant of renown.” He was raised up “for us” or He never would have been here in this cold world. Well might the words of His lips, and the works of His grace, be our constant meditation.