I’ve often wondered about Jesus’ comment to his disciples in John 14:12: “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”
What can Jesus possibly mean that we will do greater works? Than Jesus????
I’ve heard sermons that suggest that it was Jesus foreshadowing today’s globalization.
Almost half of the people who follow my blog live in Tennessee, but I have followers in many countries including China, Singapore, Australia, the United Kingdom, Guinea, Japan, Norway, the Ukraine and South Africa. By “greater works” did Jesus mean that the Gospel would reach more people geographically through the internet and our social media sites? Or maybe he meant that with 2.2 billion Christians worldwide, the spread of our faith would reach far more than one man could who spent his entire life in the small area of Galilee and Judea?
A discussion last week made me think that Jesus had something else in mind when he told Philip that we believers “will do even greater works”. If we look at verses 7-13, we gain more of the context of Jesus’ remarks:
‘If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.’
Jesus is blunt with Philip, “Do you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”
Unlike us, Jesus never doubted there was a God and never doubted that he and the Father were one.
And unlike Jesus, we are full of doubt.
Philip begs, “Lord, show us the Father.” And in John 20:25, Thomas begs, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe."
Jesus tells us that if we can’t believe because he tells us, surely we believe because of the miracles! “How else can you explain the water turned into wine, healing of the blind and raising of my friend Lazarus, if these did not come directly from the Father through me?”
Jesus is constantly pleading with us to believe. Believe in the Father, believe in the works, believe in me.
The “greater works” that we are to do are the only thing that Jesus couldn’t do: to demonstrate our belief in Him and the Father by leading our lives with the joy of the Holy Spirit and with the wonder of little children.
We must tell our stories so that others will also believe. It is our story that will draw others to Christ. It is the story of our belief that is the “greater works.”
Why do you believe in Jesus?
With Blessings, my friend,