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George

What do you think Jesus meant?

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Shalom everyone,

I'm curious on everyone's take on what Jesus meant when He said, 

John 14:12  "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Your brother in the Lord with much agape love,

George

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Guest Teditis

I think that the greatest work that a Christian can do is leading someone to Christ as Lord and Savior.

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4 hours ago, George said:

Shalom everyone,

I'm curious on everyone's take on what Jesus meant when He said, 

John 14:12  "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Your brother in the Lord with much agape love,

George

I think Jesus talks about doing the work his Father gave him many times. Every time I believe he is also talking about the healing and miracles and not just leading people to a real relationship with God the Father. The Healing and miracles were part of the prophecies of the Messiah. It is part of the answer he gives to John the Baptist when he is in prison. Speaking the truth of God should always be first but it should also be accompanied by the Spirit and power of God. Because the works of Jesus always included the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God as well. 

Firestormx

Joseph

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On 9/2/2017 at 9:53 PM, Giller said:

What happened not long after , Jesus ascended to the Father?

He sent back the Holy Ghost.

The apostle Paul elaborated much on how the Holy Spirit 

works through the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-11,

Paul writes:

"Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith [d]by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of [e]healing [f]by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the [g]effecting of [h]miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the [i]distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills."

 

In Romans 12:3-8, we read:

" For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness."

 

Hence, the Holy Spirit presents Christ working through the entire body of

believers. Certainly, Jesus demonstrated the working of the Holy Spirit

as He ministered to the crowds, as He exhorted, showed mercy, taught,

 prophesied, healed, and demonstrated discernment of spirits.

 

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On 8/27/2017 at 9:39 AM, George said:

Shalom everyone,

I'm curious on everyone's take on what Jesus meant when He said, 

John 14:12  "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Your brother in the Lord with much agape love,

George

As a start to a response, here's a quick initial word study on the word "works" as used in this verse.

ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ τὰ ἔργα ἃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ κἀκεῖνος ποιήσει, καὶ μείζονα τούτων ποιήσει, ὅτι ἐγὼ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα πορεύομαι· (SBL GNT John 14:12 from biblegateway.com)

The word works used here is τὸ ἔργον.  From 3rd Edition BDAG (the Bauer-Danker Greek Lexicon), the summary of this word's usage is as follows.

  1. That which displays itself in activity of any kind ("deed" or "action").
    1. in contrast to rest (e.g. in word and deed)
    2. manifestation or practical proof
    3. deed or accomplishment (of God, or Jesus, or humans)
  2. That which one does as a regular activity ("work", "occupation", "task")
  3. That which is brought into being by work ("product", "undertaking", "work")
  4. Something having to do with something under discussion ("thing", "matter")

Roughly speaking, it is a fairly generic word used to describe actions that people or God take (whether routine or extraordinary or miraculous) and the results of those actions.  It can be used of both positive and negative things.  It occurs 169 times in the UBS4 version of the GNT.  Here are the occurrences in the Gospel of John.   3:19-21, 4:34, 5:20, 5:36, 6:28-29, 7:3, 7:7, 7:21, 8:39, 8:41, 9:3-4, 10:25, 10:32-33, 10:37-38, 14:10-12, 15:24, 17:4.  In addition, I John 3:8,12,18; II John 1:11; III John 1:10; and Rev  2:2,5,6,19,22,23,26; 3: 1,2,8,15  (to round out the Johannine books).

Here are some examples (with English translations chosen to highlight the Greek word):

 but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19 NIV

 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.   John 3:21 NKJV.

But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.   John 5:36 NKJV

Jesus answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel.  John 7:21  NKJV

Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.  John 8:39 NKJV

Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”  John 10:33

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.  I John 3:8

 

From this quick study, the general sense I have of this word is that it refers to anything and everything that someone might do and that it reflects their character and motivations.  It seems to include both mundane everyday activities and actions to typical ministry activities as well as the out of the ordinary and the miraculous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On ‎28‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 0:39 AM, George said:

Shalom everyone,

I'm curious on everyone's take on what Jesus meant when He said, 

John 14:12  "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

Your brother in the Lord with much agape love,

George

Hi George,

My thoughts are - because Jesus went to the Father, then now by His Holy Spirit working through the Body of Christ, greater, more numerous works (from the Head - Jesus) will be / are being, done.

regards, Marilyn.

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The second phrase I wondered about is μείζονα τούτων.  This is usually translated as greater works or something similar.

The word μεὶζων is the comparative form of μὲγας.  In English, we use words such as great, greater, and greatest as means of comparison.  The word μεὶζων corresponds to the English word greater (in contrast to great or greatest).  Note that sometimes English translations use the word greatest to translate the comparative form instead of greater.

This word generally means that something is larger, more excellent, better, or greater than something else.  It seems to emphasize the idea of higher quality more so than quantity though sometimes it can refer to quantity and extent.  The comparative form μεὶζων occurs 48 times in the USB4 GNT.   Here are some of the verses it is in.

Matt 11:11, 12:6, 13:32, 18:1, 18:4, 20:31, 23:11, 23:17, 23:19; Mark 4:32, 9:34, 12:31; Luke 7:28, 9:46, 12:18, 22:24-27; John 1:50, 4:12, 5:20, 5:36, 8:53, 10:29, 13:16, 14:12, 14:28, 15:13, 15:20, 19:11; Rom 9:12; I Cor 12:41 13:13, 14:5;  I John 3:20, 4:4, 5:9

Here are some examples of its usage.

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  Matt 11:11 NIV

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Matt 18:1 NIV

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  Mark 12:31

Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”  John 4:12 NIV

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.  John 5:20 NIV

Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  John 13:16 NIV

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  I Cor 13:13 NIV

 

My general sense of this phrase is that it is referring to the quality of the works rather than the quantity.  It is possible for the word to refer to number and extent, but the comparative form seems to be used more often in the NT to refer to the excellence or quality of something.

 

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The third thing I find interesting is the phrase ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ (usually translated as something like "the one who believes in me").

A few interesting things about this phrasing.  First is that it seems open ended.  It is not restricted to the disciples.

Another thing is the choice of the Greek participle used.  In English, we don't have as big a distinction between different aspects of action that Greek does.  I'll try to explain this.  Imagine that I saw a parade last week.    Today, I could represent that entire process of attending and enjoying it as a summary.  "I saw a parade."  In contrast, during the parade, I could describe the process of what I'm doing as "I am watching a parade."  In one aspect, the focus is summarizing the action, in the other the focus is on emphasizing that the action is occurring.

This Greek participle emphasizes an ongoing action of believing.  It could be translated as "the one who is actively believing in me" or "the one believing in me".   There seems to be a direct emphasis on the action and process of believing as something more ongoing than a once-for-all type of emphasis.  I think that this seems to carry the idea of ongoing faith in one's life rather than an initial act of faith or belief.

 

 

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This has been interesting for me since I've long known this verse and never really dug into it until now.  The last big thing I see of interest is the word order in Greek.  It's roughly:   the one believing in me, the works which I am doing, that one will (future tense) also do, and even greater (than my works) they will do, because I am going to the Father.    

Sometimes, there is a tendency in Greek sentences to start with the familiar and move toward the unfamiliar.  If so, this would run in the following chain of thought for the disciples hearing this.   "The one believing in me will do the works I am doing."  This would be no surprise since the 12 (and others) had been sent out by Jesus to do miracles and proclaim the kingdom of heaven.  To some extent, it's a statement of fact of what's been happening.  But then we move to something different.  "And even greater works that one will do".  This is somewhat different.  What they've been doing for a few years and watching Jesus do is not all that is going to happen.  Works and deeds beyond what Jesus and the disciples had been doing would happen.  And finally, He says that the reason that this will happen is because He is going to the Father.  Jesus had already given authority to the 12 and they had done and seen many things, but because Jesus was leaving to return to the Father meant that something more would happen beyond what they had already seen.

The context of this verse in the last supper is also interesting.  The following verses including asking for things in prayer as well as keeping His commands and the coming of the Holy Spirit.

A further context that is interesting is the entire book of John.  The author obviously included many things that he thought that the works of Jesus included.  Water into wine at the wedding, the clearing of the temple courts, talking to Nicodemus, talking to the Samaritan woman at the well and staying for a few days to talk to the Samaritans in the town, healing the official's child, healing the lame man, debating the pharisees and lawyers, ministering and then feeding the 5000, walking on water,  teaching the crowds about God and the Kingdom, preaching at the temple, and other things.  Within what is recorded here (not counting the other things in the synoptic gospels) we have miracles, teaching, dealing with crowds and individuals, ministering to individuals, and the explicit statement that He did many more things that weren't recorded in this book.  Moving forward into the book of Acts, we have a further list of works and deeds we can add such as conversions, the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and at other times and places.  In addition, Acts and the Epistles contain many references to the new life in Christ wherein believers are a new creation and not merely people trying to do good things.

My sense of this verse is that it applies to all Christians individually (since the verse is explicitly singular not plural in Greek).  The works include everything (mentioned in the NT) from answered prayers to miracles to a transformed life to ministry.  This verse basically states the works of Jesus and early believers in the early church in Acts are meant for "one who is believing in me" without limitation and (from context) is because the Holy Spirit is sent to dwell in believers.

 

 

 

 

 

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