“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:12–14
Over the years I’ve heard several preachers try and explain the promise Jesus made in our focus text. The thing is their explanation basically amounted to explaining away the promise. You could tell they weren’t comfortable with the idea that you and I might actually do something that Jesus would have described as greater than what he had done. And I get their discomfort. Jesus is divine and we’re not. Jesus is the creator and we’re his creation. The very idea that we’d do anything greater than Jesus did when he ministered to the multitudes is crazy. Right?
I don’t think it’s crazy. My first reason for not thinking it’s an over the top statement is because Jesus said it. All throughout his ministry Jesus demonstrated that he wasn’t prone to making pronouncements that were exaggerations. As impossible as some of his statements had been they all proved themselves to be nothing more than the unvarnished truth. Given this track recorded I think that we should be very careful about making any attempt to discount anything Jesus said.
My second reason for not thinking the idea that we would do greater works than Jesus is crazy has to do with how and why Jesus did what he did.
More than once Jesus said that he only did what he saw the Father doing. This means that all Jesus’ actions were directed by the Father. All healings, the calming of the sea, changing the water to wine, the multiplying of the food, and the casting out of the demons, all this was done at the Father’s direction.
In John 5:19, Jesus also said that of himself he could do nothing. All his power and ability was derived from the Father. Jesus lived, worked, served, and minister with no more ability to work miracles than you or I have. Any divine abilities had been left behind when he had became incarnate as a man. But just as we aren’t helpless neither was he. The Father is always near and Jesus was more submitted to and reliant upon the Father than anyone before or after him has been.
So why did Jesus do the works he’d done? Because the Father wanted him to. And how was he able to do the works? Because the Father gave him the ability to do what he called him to do.
So now I ask you, isn’t it possible that the Father might have a greater task for us to do than any of the miracles scriptures record Jesus performing? And if the Father asks us to do some great, miraculous work doesn’t it make sense that He would also provide whatever ability would be required to complete it? If we answer yes to these questions we acknowledge that it’s the Father that is working through us, so it’s not crazy that we might be called to do something greater than Jesus did.
O God give us faith and willingness to do whatever great thing you’ve called us to do never doubting that you have provided whatever we need to accomplish your will.