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.
I would not believe any of us could do the works Jesus did, let alone greater works, if Jesus had not said it himself! But let’s look at it.
He that believeth on me.
What does it mean to believe on someone? If I say I believe in you, what does that mean? It’s much more than believing that you exist. Everyone who sees you believes you exist. To believe in someone is to believe he will accomplish the task at hand; that he will do what he said he will do; that he is able and willing to bring about the desired result. In other words, to believe on someone is to trust him.
the works that I do
What works did Jesus do? It’s well documented that he healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out devils. He also walked on water, calmed the storm, and made the boat go instantly to its destination. He turned water into wine, cursed two fig trees which then died, fed multitudes with very little, taught everywhere he went, forgave sins, ate with publicans and sinners, passed through a crowd that wanted to kill him, drove thieves out of the temple, and endured torture and death for us.
Why did Jesus do all that? He had compassion on people. Compassion is love that does something about a bad situation. It’s literally love in action.
Jesus had compassion on the apostles in the storm. He had compassion on the people giving the wedding feast. He had compassion on his apostles to teach them believing. He had compassion on the multitudes because they had no food. He had compassion on the people because they wandered aimlessly, on publicans and sinners because they were caught in the devil’s traps, on Israel because they needed his ministry, on people being cheated out of giving acceptable sacrifices, and on us because we had no everlasting life.
Jesus had compassion on people every day, even when it caused him trouble.
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
Notice it says Jesus was moved with compassion. Notice it says Jesus touched the leper.
In ancient Israel, if you touched a leper, you, also, were considered a leper. Lepers could not enter into any city until they showed themselves to the priest and made certain offerings for their cleansing. By telling everyone what Jesus did, the former leper hindered Jesus’ ministry by making it so he couldn’t go into any city. That also left him with no place to sleep at night, made it harder to get food or find a place to wash, etc.
shall he do also
I know it’s hard for most Christians to believe, but we can do the works Jesus did. 1 Corinthians 12 teaches us that gifts of healings and workings of miracles are parts of the manifestation of the spirit which is given to everyone who is born again. The media doesn’t report it, but Christians heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils every day. Christians also feed people, counsel people, visit them in prison, help them get off drugs and other addictions, heal their family situations, give them shelter from disasters and help them rebuild afterward, etc., and all according to what God tells each of them to do moment by moment. Christians teach people how to live a blessed life, and often at their own peril.
Why? Out of the same compassion Jesus had (and still has) and because they trust him and God our Father to take care of them and make everything come out alright.
and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father.
What are the greater works? Can you think of a greater work than healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out devils? Can you think of a greater work than dying for the sins of the whole world?
The key to understanding this is “because I go unto my Father.”
While Jesus was on Earth, no one could be born again; no one could have Christ in him; holy spirit had not yet come (John 14:26; 16:7). Christians today, as ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), have the privilege of leading people into the new birth, helping them to confess with their mouths the lord Jesus and believe in their hearts that God has raised him from the dead, which gives them holy spirit and, with it, everlasting life. (Lord = master, ruler, commander, boss, the one from whom they take orders, the one they obey.)
Christians today, as ambassadors for Christ, have the privilege of leading people into everlasting life. And let’s face it, when you’re dead, you’re dead. Dead as a rock. You know nothing; you can do nothing; you aren’t even conscious. If you’re dead, you have, in effect, ceased to exist. And what good is your life if you cease to exist forever?
But Christ is coming back! And if you have confessed with your mouth the lord Jesus and believed in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, if you have holy spirit (Christ in you), God will raise you from the dead just as He did Christ! Then you will live forever in perfect harmony with God and man, accomplishing great things and looking forward to each new day with excitement!
So, can we do the works of Christ? When we listen to God we can! Can we do greater works? We can lead people into the new birth, lead them into everlasting life, help them live a blessed life forever!