ESV - 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.
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What are the greater deeds that Jesus speaks of, and how is this related to his going to the Father? It is clear from both John 7:39 and John 16:7 that the Holy Spirit will not come until Jesus has departed. After Pentecost and the coming of the Spirit to indwell believers in a permanent relationship, believers would be empowered to perform even greater deeds than those Jesus did during his earthly ministry. When the early chapters of Acts are examined, it is clear that, from a numerical standpoint, the deeds of Peter and the other Apostles surpassed those of Jesus in a single day (the day of Pentecost). On that day more were added to the church than had become followers of Jesus during the entire three years of his earthly ministry. And the message went forth not just in Judea, Samaria, and Galilee, but to the farthest parts of the known world. This understanding of what Jesus meant by “greater deeds” is more probable than a reference to “more spectacular miracles.” The Ryrie Study Bible has " in EXTENT (through the worldwide preaching of the gospel) and EFFECT (the spiritual redemption and placing in the body of Christ multitudes of people since the day of Pentecost). These will be done through prayer in His name (John 14:13).
Jesus' mission is expressed in Luke 4:12, which teaches us that performing grand miracles that met individual needs, was to be accompanied by works of a day-to-day Christian living that pointed people to the one who sent him. This shows the those who believe would not only be equipped with the power to perform spectacular works that would take headlines. Beside performing miracles, Jesus made disciples, in which he commissioned us to do in Matthew 28:19,20. This is seen on the day of Pentecost, and days following, how much the disciples accomplished in a day, great numbers being baptized. It is said they turned the world upside down proclaiming the good news, reaching far and wide compared to what Jesus may have accomplished in his three and half years of ministry. They did perform a fair share of miracles, but their most lasting works were preaching, feeding the flock, building churches and help others overcome and grow towards the kingdom of God. Jesus said no one was greater than John the baptism but he never performed a miracle but proclaim the message of repentance and of the Messiah who would come to set people free.
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