Greater Works

“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do.

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:5–14)

What are the biggest, most spectacular miracles of all? The apostle Thomas asked two questions: where was Jesus going and how could they follow him? Philip just wanted to see the Father. Jesus’ responded with three points.

First, Jesus said that he was going to the Father and that Jesus alone was the only way for them to get to the Father. Second, if you know Jesus , then you know the Father. Third, those who believe in Jesus will be able to do more and better works than Jesus ever did.

How can that be? Just as Jesus told parables to make his words more easily understood, so he painted pictures with his miracles. Healing the blind and deaf, raising the dead—these were metaphors for what Jesus came to do spiritually. In his life, Jesus reached but a handful of human beings. Since his resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, untold millions have been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life through the message of the Gospel. That’s how we’ve performed works greater than Jesus. We make a mistake if we imagine there are greater works for us to do than removing spiritual blindness, deafness, and death.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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