How it's even possible to do greater works than Jesus

I'm in the middle of a series on praise and worship, and yet I'm waiting for the Holy Spirit's permission for the next lesson. 

In the meantime, the Lord just enlightened me to something that I have been asking Him about for years, and I'm eager to share it! First, let's pray.  Holy Spirit, I ask that You open the eyes of our hearts to see the truths that You have for us now! That we may learn to walk as Jesus did, for we know this is what we are called to do! And we ask this in Jesus Name, for He said You would teach us all things. Amen!

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This is John 14:12:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 

I'm sure that many Christians are familiar with that verse, and I think that maybe a lot of you have struggled with it just like I have. Jesus said it, so it has to be true. But does it really mean what it appears to mean? How is that even possible? I mean, Jesus did some amazing miracles, and many of us don't get to see too many at all... let alone greater miracles!

I realized tonight that my struggle with this statement is basically because, in my human mind, I'm reasoning that Jesus is... well... God. I'm a very faulty human. Every human is. We needed saving. Jesus was the one that saved us. So how in the world is it even possible for us to do greater works than Him? It seems turned inside out. Like a pile of dirty clothes that can wash a washing machine. 

I've told God that I believe His word -- including this one -- is true. And yet for many years I've asked, How?

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A couple of months ago I was watching John Bevere teach on the grace of God. (This was an older teaching called "Relentless" which you can watch here.)  I've understood for almost 25 years that the grace of God is His power working in and through our lives (thanks to Joyce Meyer's book, If Not for the Grace of God.) And yet, John Bevere pointed out something that never quite clicked for me before. John referenced Luke 2:40 where it says this:

The child Jesus grew and became strong in spirit; filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

John 1:14 also says that Jesus was full of grace. 

In other words, everything that Jesus did was through the grace/empowerment of God. Not His own Godly nature, for He laid down all of His own power according to Philippians 2:6-7 and according to His own words in John 10:18

While He was in human form, He walked in the power of God that was received the way that humans can receive it. Grace. 

He not only surrendered His own power, He also surrendered His own will to do and say whatever He wanted. Perfect obedience.  Jesus said at least six different times in the book of John.

"I do nothing on my own initiative."

In other words, He wasn't the one making the decisions regarding what miracles He would do or how great they would be. He didn't even decide where He would go and what He would say. Everything that He said and did was only what He was instructed to say and do. 

Thus, all the miracles that Jesus did were not done in His own power or by His own decision. They were done in obedience to the direction of the Father and Holy Spirit, through the grace/empowerment of God that is available to humans, as He walked with a human nature that was just like ours.

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It gets even more amazing! John 1:14-16 says this:

14 And the Word [Jesus] became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John *testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace

Do you see it? 

We have been given the fullness of His earthly nature...which was full of grace and marked by obedience!

We are called -- just like Jesus -- to lay down our own nature. His was the nature of God. Ours is sinful human. You'd think that it would be a lot harder to lay down a weak sinful nature (us) than to lay down a nature that holds the ultimate creative power of the universe (Him). And yet we have trouble doing as Jesus did! Even though we can, in exchange, receive the power that He demonstrated while He walked the earth!

If He could lay down His power that holds the earth together, then how much more can we lay down our paltry bit of human power?

We must also -- just like Jesus -- surrender our own will to do and say whatever we want. We -- just like Jesus -- must learn perfect obedience.

And that is how we learn to walk in the grace/empowerment of God that we have been given.

This is how Peter can say in 2 Peter 1:4 that we can become "partakers of Jesus' nature!" Because we also have been given the opportunity to lay down our own nature, surrender our own will, learn obedience, and receive the grace/empowerment of God in our lives!

This is why the apostle John says in 1 John 2:6 that we should walk as Jesus walked. No way is it possible in our own humanness! But we are called to lay down our nature just like Jesus did, and receive His fullness and the grace of God just like He did, and then use it just like He did, obeying the instructions from the Holy Spirit as they are given. 

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Now let's go back up to the verse I started with:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 

How can this be? Well... it is actually quite simple. 

If both the empowerment and the direction/decision-making are God's, then the fact that we will do greater things is merely because the Father has chosen to do this! 

It does not matter one bit who we are or were outside of Him. It does not matter that we can do hardly anything in our own power. That doesn’t matter, because our power isn’t the power at work here! The decision to do greater works isn’t ours either. 

We aren’t the ones with the power. 

And we aren’t the ones making this decision. 

Our part is submission and surrender.

God has the power (which is called grace when it's given,) and God made the decision. 

Who are we to contest it? We are merely a vessel. A conduit. If we are willing!

And that is how we will see the fulfillment of Jesus's prophecy. When we are willing to empty ourselves and obey like Jesus did. Because God has chosen to make His power flow through the body of Christ more than it did through Christ Jesus Himself.

It's that simple! (And yet it's quite a challenge for us, isn't it? Are we willing to surrender all the things we're holding onto?)


"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." 2 Corinthians 4:7


Image by Veronika from Pixabay

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