In John 14:12 Jesus says, “Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (and) even greater things, because I am going to the Father.”
What else can that mean other than trusting Jesus to do in our lives what he did in his? And because he’s going to his Father, he’ll also be in a position to enable us to do even greater things too.
And what “things” would Jesus be referring to? According to verse 10 it’s the things the Father was living, doing and speaking in and through him.
One would expect some pretty amazing things being said and done by Jesus, then, right? And if I had the great Father God living, working and speaking in and through me, I’d be expecting some pretty amazing things to be happening too. I mean, we’re talking about the supreme intelligence and miracle-making power that planned and created the immensity of our universe.
So putting verses 10 and 12 together we’ve got the supremely wise and mighty miracle-making Father working his magic through Jesus. It’s not surprising, then, that Jesus says in the first part of verse 11, “Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” What other conclusion could Jesus have come to, though, having personally experienced the mind and power of the Father living and working in him? And especially when miracles were what he’d expected from being “in the Father” too. He was “into” the Father for just that reason, though, to have the Father do these wonders through him.
The problem was getting other people to believe it, because Jesus goes on to say in the second part of verse 11, “or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.” It seems that even the disciples he’d just spent over three years traipsing round the countryside with, who’d witnessed him doing the most amazing miracles, were still having trouble believing Jesus was speaking and acting on behalf of the Father, or that the Father was the energy and source behind everything Jesus said and did (verses 5-10).
Jesus’ simple answer to them was, “But what about all those miracles I did?” And then he drops the real bombshell of proof in verse 12 when he says, “You know what? You can do miracles too. All you need do is trust me to do them through you. And, what’s more, I’m off to be with the Father so you’ll have two of us doing amazing things in and through you, so expect to do even greater than I did.”
I’m not sure what thoughts would be raging through my head after hearing Jesus say that, but I could make a pretty good guess based on my personal reaction to what Jesus said next. Because he makes the most astounding promise in verse 13 when he says, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”
Put that together with what Jesus has just said in verses 10 to 12, about the Father working and living in him, miracles being the obvious proof of it, Jesus was now making it clear to his disciples that he would now be the source of the same miracle-working power – in them. It would still be to the “glory of the Father,” of course, since the Father was the one who got this started and put Jesus in his position of power – so get the point as to where things would be going from here on out.
From now on, or soon after Jesus ascended to his Father, Jesus would continue doing miracles by living in and working in his disciples. This is what the Father would set him up for when Jesus joined him. As Jesus’ disciples, then, expect Jesus to do miracles through them, just as he’d expected his Father to do miracles through him.
The set up from now on for Jesus’ disciples, therefore, was this: Trust Jesus to do miracles in and through them, expecting him to do them too, as visible witness to his power – just as Jesus doing and expecting miracles from his Father gave visible witness to the Father’s power.
And if it’s any consolation to us Christian disciples today, Jesus knew it would be hard for his disciples back then to wrap their minds round expecting him to do miracles through them. Which is probably why he repeated his promise in verse 14: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it,” and he means miracles.
And it’s all to the Father’s glory too, when we’re trusting and expecting Jesus to do miracles in and through us, because the Father was the one who set it up this way in the first place.
So what thoughts or questions does that raise in your mind?….