Greater Works than These

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14: 8-12)

Jesus’ followers constantly question him in their very human confusion to try to understand what it is that he is saying to them about the nature of God. He understands that it is a stretch for his disciples to believe all that he tells them. Even more, Jesus understands that there are others in the world who will only be able to believe because they have seen the face of God and heard the stories of him from his people. One of the very important ways that we experience God is through the people who love us and take care of us on this earth. Just as Christ’s disciples experienced God through the person of Jesus, people in need can experience God through us if we reach out and care for those in need.

The most miraculous thing about this verse may be that Jesus says that anyone who believes in him will be able to do even greater works than he has done.  What must that have been like for Christ’s followers to contemplate?  They probably felt like kindergarteners who can’t read yet but are listening to someone trying to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity.  It may not even be possible for us to fathom doing greater good than Christ did.  But isn’t it a goal worth reaching for?

Wondering:  If you were able to do greater works than Jesus did while he was on earth, what would you want to do? How could you work toward his desires for the world?