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Bernadeta April 22, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Well, why did Jesus said this: John 14:12?
“Most assuredly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father.” He used words:”he who believes in me” Jesus didn’t say to disciples – if you will believe in me but he who believes. Believe means have a faith then it is about faith.

Jack Wellman April 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm

Hello Bernadeta. If we search for the exact phrase in John 14:12a, “the works that I do,” it occurs in one other place in John, namely John 10:25, “Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me.” So again the function of the “works” in John 10:25 is exactly the same as here in John 14:11–12. My works are the things I do that bear witness about me.

So at least we can say with confidence that in John 14:12a Jesus means that all believers will be marked by this: they will be so united to Jesus that they will carry on his work by his power and do the kinds of things that will “bear witness” about Jesus. They will point people to Jesus, and through Jesus to the Father.

In his prayer in John 17 Jesus prayed, “[Father,] I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” His work was what he did to draw attention to the glory of his Father. In John 13:35 Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” A life of love will draw attention to the truth of Christ and the reality of our own new life in him. And in Matthew 5:16 Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Christians are defined by works or life which flow from faith in Jesus and point to the glory of Jesus.

So I conclude that, however many Christians God may give gifts of miracles and healing, all of them (and that is what the text is about, “whoever believes in me”) — all of them will do the works of Jesus in the sense that all his works of every kind testified to his truth and deity. And every Christian does these works — that is, lives this life. We are the aroma of Christ. We are the light of the world. We were dead. And we are alive, “created in Christ Jesus for good works — the works that Jesus did — which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). A life of words and deeds that help people believe in Jesus. That’s the first part of our text: verse 12a, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.”

If you think “greater works” means “more miraculous” you will be hard put to exceed walking on water, feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish, and raising the dead. I don’t know of any Christian who has ever lived — inside or outside the New Testament — who has ever done all three of those miracles, let alone something more miraculous. Let alone every Christian having done these miracles or something more miraculous so context is important and not just claiming one half of a verse as you have done and making that a doctrine.

Pamela Rose Williams April 26, 2017 at 10:36 am

Thank you Pastor Jack for your commentary. I believe you have captured the true meaning of John 14:11–12; I could not have said it better. All glory to God for your carefully stated response to Bernadeta.

Jack Wellman April 26, 2017 at 10:49 am

Thank you Pam. Yes…all glory to God and none to us (1 Cor 4:7).

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