John 14:12 “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.
I’ll never forget the first time I read that verse. It blew me away! I couldn’t imagine doing the same works Jesus did, much less greater works. What is a greater work anyway? How do you top feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes or walking on the water?
I have yet to do comparable works to multiplying food and feeding 5,000 or walking on water, yet the word in John 14:12 still compels me to believe for more. Ashley and I had a magnet with that verse that hung on the door of our refrigerator for the first 5 years of our marriage. I would see it every time I got something to eat or drink and it would stir me that God had called me to a greater reality than the one I was living.
I want to take some time to explore this verse in this article and attempt to give us some understanding of what this verse means and what we need to do to walk in it. In my opinion there are two ways to understand John 14:12.
The first way to view this passage is that the greater works Jesus was speaking of was leading other people into salvation. At the time Jesus made the statement that is recorded in John 14:12, He hadn’t gone to the cross yet so He had technically never led someone to salvation. This only became possible after He went to the cross and was resurrected.
The problem with this interpretation is that after Jesus was resurrected, He preached the gospel of the kingdom for 40 days and at least 500 people saw him according to 1 Corinthians 15:6. Surely, some of those 500 were born again after seeing the resurrected Jesus and hearing Him preach. This means Jesus led people to salvation so leading people to salvation cannot be a greater work.
The second way to view this passage is that there are more astonishing miracles appointed for us to accomplish than Jesus did when He walked the earth. His life of devotion to the word and prayer set a standard for us that we need to emulate so we can build upon what He did by doing greater works. A biblical example of a greater work than what Jesus did is from Acts 5:15. Look at this verse:
15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.
Jesus did a lot of miraculous things, but the Bible doesn’t record a time someone got healed off of His shadow as he walked by. This is amazing! I’m not writing any of this to diminish who Jesus is or His ministry. He is God who lived in a flesh body that paid the ultimate price to pay our sin debt that we could never pay. I’m writing this to magnify His ministry because the goal of His ministry was to restore our identity. Part of our identity to is to walk in the supernatural. I know I scare some people when I teach on things like this and all I can say to those folks is to read Jesus’s words. He said, we would do greater works because He went to the Father. Here are some other things Jesus said:
- John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
- John 16:23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
- Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “Ifyou can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
- Mark 11:23-24 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
These are the things Jesus said about living by faith and believing for the miraculous. You can do what you want with them, but I personally can’t read statements like these and not expect more. For me, it’s dishonoring to what Jesus did and said to not expect the supernatural. He wants us to walk in the miraculous.
I’ll admit, I’m no where close to living in the supernatural reality the Bible talks about for every believer, but I have grown over the years and see more miracles when I pray than I used to. I share that to encourage you that even if you aren’t seeing a lot of prayers answered right now, don’t give up. Keep believing and keep pursuing the supernatural.
The practical steps we can take to the pursue the supernatural include renewing our minds to what God’s word says, spending time with other believers who are hungry for the supernatural, finding mentors who are seeing the miraculous in their lives, and spending time in prayer until we think from God’s perspective. Jesus’s ceiling is supposed to be our floor! Jesus wants us to build upon the standard He set and walk in a greater level of the miraculous than He did. I know that sounds crazy! It was hard for me to write, but that is because my mind is still being renewed. Greater works are what Jesus thinks that you and I should be doing so let’s honor Him and pursue!
If you enjoyed this article and would like to more about walking in the supernatural, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church.