Greater Works

John 14:8-14 Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. Jesus said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how say thou then, Show us the Father? Believe thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwell in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believe 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. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 

Philip asked the Lord to show them the Father, but Jesus explained that by knowing Him, the Father is also known to them.

‘In the Father, and the Father in me’ This speaks of union with, not physical entrance into. The Bible does speak of the Corinthians and Philippians being in Paul’s heart (2Cor. 7:3; Php. 1:7); God being in Christ (2Cor. 5:19); Christ being in God (John 14:20); God and Christ being in each other (John 14:10-11); men being in both the Father and the Son (1Jn. 2:24); men being in Christ (2Cor. 5:17); men and the Spirit being in each other (Rom. 8:9); Christ being in men (Col. 1:27; Rom. 8:10); man and Christ being in each other (John 14:20); all creation being in God (Acts 17:28); and satan entering into men (Luke 22:3; John 13:27). However, these passages refer to being in union with, being consecrated to the same end – one in mind, purpose, and life. They do not teach physical entrance of one being into another. It may be best understood by a man and woman becoming one in life together, being in each other’s plans, life, etc.

‘Works’ refers to His miracles, healings, signs, wonders, and mighty acts of power (Matt. 11:20-23; 13:54-58; 14:2; John 5:20, 36; 9:3; 10:25, 32). His works consisted of healing all manner of sickness and disease, casting out devils, raising the dead, cleansing lepers, and doing innumerable acts of deliverance from all the works of satan (Matt. 4:23-24; 9:35; Acts 10:38). He controlled the elements, multiplied food, walked on water, restored a severed ear, turned water into wine, accomplishing anything He undertook to do in the material and spiritual realms.

‘Shall he do also’ the promise here is that each believer can be endowed with power (Luke 10:19; 24:49; Acts 1:4-8) and receive the Spirit without measure (John 7:37-39), so he can do all the works of Christ and even greater works than what He did. To make this a promise of spiritual works only when He did material and spiritual works is a poor excuse for unbelief. To make it refer to saving souls is to ignore facts because He did this also. To limit it to the works of the apostles will rob other believers of the benefits of the promise.

‘Greater works’ The thought is that each believer can have equal power with Christ to do what He did as well as greater things if and when the occasion requires it. Reasons for greater works: satan was cast out (John 12:31) and defeated on the cross (Col. 2:14-17; 1Pet. 2:24). Redemption was completed (John 19:30; Col. 2:14-17; 1Pet. 1:10-12) and Spirit baptism came after Jesus was glorified (John 7:37-39; Acts 1:4-8; 2:33). Christ now intercedes for believers (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25). Completed victory over death, hell and the grave (Heb. 2:14-15; Rev. 1:18; Col. 2:14-15). The fullness of grace is now possible in Christ (John 1:17; Col. 2:10).

‘That the Father may be glorified in the Son’ this is the purpose of the Christian’s power of attorney. It glorifies God to answer all prayers and save, heal, and bless all people materially, but He cannot do so unless they “ask in faith, nothing wavering” (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8; Mark 11:22-24).

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