Can a Christian actually do greater works than Jesus?
Jesus says “YES!”
Check out what He says in John 14:12 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (emphasis mine)
Think about it: Jesus walked on water, raised people from the dead, fed thousands with a small happy meal, caused blind guys to see with His spit, caused the deaf to hear, and sewed a man’s ear back on without stitches. And yet He told the disciples that – not only would they do the works He did – but they would do GREATER works.
The key to understand what Jesus means is in the last phrase of verse 12: “because I am going to the Father.” What happened after Jesus ascended to the Father? He sent His Spirit to indwell His followers (see John 16:7 and Acts 2). After the Spirit fell at Pentecost, more people became followers of Jesus in one day than His entire 3 year earthly ministry. Was it because Jesus didn’t know how to ‘grow’ a church? Of course not. It’s simply because He came to make make humans right with God and ordained His work to be carried on through His followers in the power of the Spirit.
The word ‘greater’ in John 14:12 does not mean ‘greater’ in matters of amazement or the miraculous. You can’t get more miraculous than raising people from the dead! It means greater in terms of scope and worldwide impact. Jesus came to make it possible for us to be indwelled by His Spirit through His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. He ordained for His work to be made known through His followers around the world in the power of the Spirit He gives them (See Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8).
When Jesus ascended to the Father He sent His Spirit to fill those who believe. The purpose? To have a worldwide (‘greater’) impact with His Gospel in the power of the Spirit He gives.
How are YOU currently fulfilling that purpose? Jesus could have caused your neighbor to know Him. But He ordained that YOU do that ‘greater’ work right where you are. Go ahead. It’s a great thing.