Question of the Week: What did Jesus mean when He said that we would do greater works than He did?
Verses: John 14:12
Jesus was speaking to His disciples the very night He would be arrested about the work He would continue through them even though He was physically absent from them. This continued work of the Holy Spirit in their lives would allow God to work through the disciples for the same purpose He worked through Jesus during His time on Earth, to show people the character of God and their need for salvation. Since in the very sentence Jesus specifies why God will work through them instead of Him, the question is what Jesus meant by “greater.” Of all the things Jesus accomplished in this world, these three stand out as the most significant. He lived the perfect life, demonstrated His authority over all creation as God, and resurrected Himself from the dead to provide a means of salvation for all mankind. Obviously the disciples wouldn’t do greater things than this in terms of substance, so by process of elimination the other way “greater” is commonly used makes the most sense. Jesus didn’t tell His disciples they would do greater works than Him in substance, but because He was only here for 3 years, the quantity of things God would do through them would be greater than the things He had time to do Himself.
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