Jump Start # 3328
John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”
Here in this conversation with the apostles, Jesus is once again reminding them that He is leaving. As the chapter began, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” He was heading to the cross. He had an appointment with death. But, beyond that, He was heading back to Heaven. “Where I am, there you may be also,” is a promise He made to them.
The “works” Jesus talks about in our verse are the miracles. “Believe on the account of the works themselves,” Jesus said in the previous verse. In the fifth chapter, Jesus said that the works bear witness to who He is.
So, two things come from our verse today. The works that Jesus did, the apostles would do. Jesus healed. The apostles healed. Jesus raised the dead. The apostles would do the same. But then Jesus said, “greater works than these” will be done by them. The apostles would do greater works than Jesus? What could they do greater than Jesus? Is it possible that anyone can do anything better than Jesus?
· In John 9, Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man and gave him sight. Yet, as the apostles preached the saving Gospel, thousands had their spiritual eyes opened to who Jesus was.
· In John 6, Jesus fed five thousand. In Acts 4, through the preaching of the Gospel, five thousand obeyed the saving message of Jesus and their lives are changed.
The greater work that would be done would be the preaching to the multitudes. The faith that the preaching generated would change eternity for those that believed.
First, the five thousand that ate the food that Jesus multiplied received a meal. Their bellies were full. But the next day they would be hungry again. What Jesus did helped in the moment, but it didn’t change things even a day later. In eternity, that food wouldn’t impact them. The people that Jesus raised from the dead, all eventually died again. However, the saving message of the Gospel changed lives forever. It saved people from their sins and opened the doorway to Heaven for them.
Second, the work of Jesus was limited to the areas of Galilee and Judea. The work of the apostles went into all the world. With but a few exceptions, the work of Jesus was directed towards the Jews. The work of the apostles included people of all nations. Even within Caesar’s household came the message of Jesus.
Third, the miracles of Jesus have ended. The purpose was not to cure disease. If so, He failed. The intent was to show that He was the Son of God. However, the work of the apostles continues on to this day. Sunday after Sunday, brethren gather and the words of the Gospel are read, preached and studied. Congregations are made stronger, lives are enriched and hope springs deeply within those that believe. Their work continues.
Greater works than Jesus—that’s hard to believe. But it’s true. It’s true because He said so. It’s true because we see the outcome. And, you and I participate in this. We do this, first, when our hearts turn and we became believers. Secondly, we participate in this when we tell others the message of Jesus. The words of Jesus can change the eternity for those who believe. We have a hand in doing the greatest work of all, preaching, teaching and sharing the saving message of Jesus Christ.
The death of Jesus has no impact if people do not know about it. The preaching of the Gospel is the greatest work of all. You have a part in that. You preach. You support and defend preaching. You bring people to the Gospel.
The greatest work in the world.