Greater Works

Greater Works (John 14:12)

John 14:1 (NKJV)
14 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.


Here, we see Jesus’ commentaries on salvation. He is speaking with His disciples who are present with Him at the Passover table. The antecedent text (chapter 13) records what is popularly known as the Last Supper. It is during the course of these events that Jesus begins to address His disciples.


He instructs:

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.


Then He goes on to say:

2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


We must pay CLOSE attention to the words which Jesus uses here. The word “house” was translated from the Greek word “oikia.” It is better translated: “family or household.” The same word was used earlier in John 4.


John 4:53 (NKJV)
53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole HOUSEHOLD.


Also by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 16

1 Corinthians 16:15 (NKJV)
15 I urge you, brethren—you know the HOUSEHOLD of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints


Now, the word “mansions” here (John 14:2) is poorly translated. It is the word “moné” in the Greek. “Moné” actually refers to “dwelling-spaces”


So, the text can be better read: “In my Father’s family, there are many spaces.” Obviously, this would refer to the fact that there are MANY rooms for sons (sonship) & not buildings or architecture — a place in the Father’s family!


He goes on to say

“..I go to prepare a place for you.”


In English, “I go” would imply traveling or moving away. But not so in the Greek. “I go” here is “poreuomai” in the original text. It literally means: “I’m leaving where I am to somewhere else.” It is a destination-oriented terminology. That is, it places emphasis much more on where the subject is going than where he is leaving.


Now, verse 3

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.


It is key to note that this text does not discuss “the Rapture” at all. It rather explains “I go” (in vs. 2). It is not an escape from the Earth, rather He is going, TO COME BACK to the Earth AGAIN.



4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.


Vs. 6 may be understood by applying the variant of Sharp’s The-Substanstive-Substanstive rule here. He is not three different things; the Way, the Truth THEN the Life. Rather, the text can be better read this way: I am the True way that leads to Life!”


The reason He says this is not far-fetched. His audience were Jews who from childhood were trained in the Torah; their belief was that the way to Life was through their own moral uprightness and good conduct.


John 5:39-40 (NKJV)
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.


So, He points their attention to HIMSELF as the source of Life, not their perfect law-keeping (get Soteria 2019 audio teaching “the gift of eternal life” for more on this).


Matthew echoes this:


Matthew 7:13-14 (NKJV)
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.


“Narrow” here in the Greek means “single.” (See separate article “A Matthew 7:21-23 chat” for a full explanation on this). That is there is ONLY ONE way — Himself!


The way or access He speaks about here would be His death, burial and Resurrection. They knew because He had spoken about same severally before now.


Matthew 17:22-23 (NKJV)
22 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, 23 and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful.


Back to John 14

7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”


Now, observe this.

They sought after the Father. But Jesus kept telling them where the Father was:


9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.


The Father was IN Him! The term “in Him” in Bible is a terminology which implies unity or oneness with the subject. So, the Father was ONE with Jesus. To see Him is to have beheld the Father. The Father was ALWAYS there, all along!


Jesus then goes on to say

12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.


Now, Jesus speaks concerning “greater works” and it is very key we pay close attention to this.


Jesus had a superabundance of the miraculous accompany His life and ministry:


Acts 10:38 (NKJV)
38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.


He was anointed with the Holy Ghost and because of this, Jesus went about doing good with power.


John 6:1-3 (NKJV)
6 After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.


Acts 2:22 (NKJV)
22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know—

Miracles, wonders and signs


John 11:47-48 (NKJV)
47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, “What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”

Works many signs


John 12:17-19 (NKJV)
17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”


He had signs, wonders and the miraculous accompany Him and His ministry. Yet, for some reason, Jesus kept pointing to His work in salvation as the authentication of His ministry, not the miraculous.


John 2:18-22 (NKJV)
18 So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” 19 Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

Here, He speaks of His death & Resurrection.


Matthew 12:38-40 (NKJV)
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

This speaks concerning His descent into the place of the dead for the sins of mankind (see Romans 10:6-7 and Ephesians 4:7-10).


Although He had the miraculous, He then makes mention of “greater works” which those who believe in Him shall do:


John 14:12 (NKJV)
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.


But observe that before Jesus mentions “greater works,” He first of all explains that the believing one would do the works He does:


“..I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also;


These works will be done by those who believe — this evidently refers to the miraculous and also further emphasizes that union that they will have with Him. But notice also that He immediately draws attention to what He calls “greater works”


Let’s examine this a little bit closer. Shall we?


The word “greater” as used here is translated from the Greek word “megas” which means “more excellent.” Interestingly, “megas” can be used as both an adjective and adverb in the Greek. That is, “greater” does not only qualify the WHAT of “works” but also modifies its “HOW.” The works will not just be greater. HOW they would be done would also be greater.


What then would be these works?

Follow closely


Note that what would make these works possible is “..because I go to My Father.”


How would this happen? Jesus would have to die, be buried and raised the third day. So, whatever these works would be, they would have to be possible upon His Resurrection and glorification. Without mincing words, we know from the Bible that Jesus died for the salvation of man from sin and its consequence — death.


Romans 6:23 (NKJV)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NKJV)
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,


So, Jesus dies, is buried and then raised. Upon His Resurrection, we have salvation from sin.


Then He is glorified (made to sit at the Father’s Right Hand).


Ephesians 1:20-23 (NKJV)
20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.


“Right hand” in the Bible is a figurative, non-literal terminology which denotes authority. That is, ALL POWER is given to the one who is said to be seated at the Right Hand. Hence, “greater works” would be EVERYTHING that follows after Jesus’ glorification, Him being given all authority. They would be “greater” because He could not do them in the four Gospels. These greater works would be those things which He could only do when He was raised!


Matthew gives us a lead on this:


Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 GO THEREFORE AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.


“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Notice that. This would be in His authority. How would this happen?


Mark’s account grants further insight:

Mark 16:15-16 (NKJV)
15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.


They will have to believe or put faith in Christ to be saved. So Mark records the instruction concerning the salvation of the lost while Matthew seems to focus more on Jesus’ instructions concerning their spiritual growth (discipleship).


Luke’s account helps too:


Luke 24:46-47 (NKJV)
46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.


The Christ would suffer and be raised for this very cause. Then repentance and remission of sins would be preached in His name (His reputation in Redemption). Hence, “greater works” would be salvation. The Saviour picked up that title when He sat at the Father’s Right Hand (that is, when He received ALL authority). Having wrought salvation, He becomes the Custodian of same.


Hebrews 1:3 (NKJV)
3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself PURGED OUR SINS, SAT DOWN at the RIGHT HAND of the Majesty on high,


So, while Jesus performed miracles on the Earth, the believer in Him is shouldered with a MUCH MORE glorious task — the miracle of salvation.


This would be done via the authority in the Gospel

John 20:23 (NKJV)
23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


This forgiveness and retaining of sins is via the preaching of the message that remits sins. A man who believes has that miracle wrought in his spirit. He becomes a New Man in Christ:

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.


Titus 3:4-7 (NKJV)
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the WASHING OF REGENERATION AND RENEWING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.


He begins to exist as though He NEVER did. His past, present and future are now defined by who He has become in Christ! This is the miracle of Redemption!


But, not only so, Jesus mentions something else:

Luke 24:48-49 (NKJV)
48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are ENDUED WITH POWER from on high.”


He mentions an enduing with power. The word “endued” as used here is translated from the Greek word “enduo” which means “to be clothed upon with.” The Promise of the Father would bring this reality.


Now, what is that promise?


Acts 1:8 (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS COME UPON YOU; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”


Galatians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT through faith.


The Promise (which is also “the blessing of Abraham”) is the giving of the Spirit of Christ to indwell man.


Jesus spoke concerning this too in the John 14 account:

John 14:15-18 (NKJV)
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.


I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU ORPHANS; I WILL COME TO YOU! So not only is He raised & glorified, He comes back to indwell the believer to do greater works! He does the greater works in and through them.


When this happens, they would be endued with power. So, in this promise is contained the “HOW” as well. Not only will men be saved, but they will be saved in demonstrations of power. And the saved who have believed would receive same power as well. We can call this the Spirit UPON or the infilling of the Spirit. Not only would men be saved (the Spirit within), they would ALSO be filled with the Spirit. This infilling would be evident in supernatural acts of power, particularly utterance (see Acts 2:1-4, 8:14-17, 10:44-46, & 19:1-7). So Jesus’ “greater works” are salvation (including discipleship) and the infilling of the Holy Spirit (evidenced primarily by the utterance gifts). These, He received power to do, ONLY upon His Resurrection.


Say this:

Jesus lives in me!
I have His Spirit!
Therefore I do His greater works!
More men saved! More men filled!
Everyday of my life! Amen!

I hope this helped. Let me know. Share with a friend too.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2019.


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