Lenten Reflections

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John 14:12-14

February 29, 2024
John 14:12-14

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. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.


Many people are understandably perplexed by Jesus’ claim that whoever believes in him will do even greater works than he has done. This cannot simply mean Jesus’ followers will do more works than Jesus. And it is hard to imagine Jesus’ followers doing something more spectacular than raising the dead (John 11:43-44). 

The key to understanding Jesus’ statement lies in Jesus’ own explanation: “Because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). Far from abandoning this world, Jesus’ “going to the Father” means that he will rule over this world. One of the primary ways in which Jesus will exert his rule will be through his followers. Prior to his death, many of Jesus’ actions were somewhat veiled and difficult to understand, but following his exaltation, they will take on new light. The works that Jesus’ followers will perform in his name after the resurrection will be greater than those that preceded Jesus’ death because they belong to the new age of clarity and power. That is why Jesus promises to do whatever is asked in his name. He will be the ultimate author of all that is accomplished by his followers.