The Greater Works of the Believer
John 14:12
Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…

I. THE NEED OF THESE GREATER WORKS. We know the works of Jesus in the flesh - certainly not all he did; but still we know the kind of things he did. And we know, too, that if nothing more had been done, the greatest things would have been left undone. A diseased and defective body is bad, a physical leprosy is a great pollution; but a distracted, passion-ruled heart is infinitely worse. The miraculous healings and alleviations worked out by Jesus are very beautiful, but they were only deeds by the way; having in them something preparatory and illustrative, but always looking to fundamental renovations, which would bring all other renovations in due course. We should ever aim to look at need according to the gradation which Jesus gives. We easily become "the fools of time and sense." What shall it profit a man if he practically learns the secret of vigorous health, and a long, enjoyable physical life, if it leaves him, all through, self-indulgent and self-asserting? The abiding ministry of Jesus, through the ministry of those in every generation whom he chooses and qualifies, is a ministry to the greatest needs of men. For temporal and physical needs they can often do little or nothing; but Jesus fills them with a spiritual energy which works out results, making many increasingly grateful to them, and through them to the supreme Savior himself.

II. THE PERFECT SUBORDINATION OF THE SON TO THE FATHER. What consciousness there is here of a plan and an order! What humble and beautiful recognition of the place of Jesus and of his servants respectively! Jesus says it without the slightest hesitation that his servants would do greater things than himself. Here are the words of One who was ever thinking, first of all of the glory and will of his heavenly Father. So the thing be done, what matters it whose is the visible hand? Nothing good can be done, whether in higher or lower degree, without the enabling energy from on high. So long as the greater works are continually going on, and men being regenerated and sanctified, what we may call the mere reputation of Jesus is a small matter. There is no fear but what Jesus will get full recognition from those in whom the greater works are being done. Such recognition is no trivial part of the proof that the greater works are being done.

III. THE CAUSE OF THE GREATER WORKS. The apostles do not merely take the place of Jesus. His departure out of the ordinary conditions of human life is part of the qualification of his servants for the greater works. He is with the Father now in a sense in which he was not while here in flesh and blood. Even as Paul said, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord," so Jesus, absent from the body, was present with the Father. Let us, indeed, fully admit that the cause Jesus here gives is one we are little able to comprehend. But it is the real cause, and we should rejoice in its being mentioned; for what we know not now we shall know hereafter. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

WEB: Most certainly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and he will do greater works than these, because I am going to my Father.

The Greater Works
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