Serena's picture

Serena

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Jesus said, Greater Things Will You Do than I

What does this mean?

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Serena's picture

Serena

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Atheisto's picture

Atheisto

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..it means no grammatical sense?

nighthawk's picture

nighthawk

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I think it needs a comma in there, it took me five tries at reading it to understand what it meant.
Personally, I think that it means that we will go on to do (or at least try to do) the things that did not come around in Jesus' time: equality for all people, justice, harmony, peace, etc. among all peoples.

rdj_evolving's picture

rdj_evolving

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we will "do...the things that did not come around in Jesus' time: equality for all people, justice, harmony, peace, etc. among all peoples". sounds a bit too utopian for my taste. after all, we are talking about human beings. i may be a humanist but i'm a cynical one.

Erintoo's picture

Erintoo

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Serena,

(LAN) Jesus is not saying that his disciples would do more amazing miracles"”after all, raising the dead is about as amazing as you can get. Rather, the disciples, working in the power of the Holy Spirit, would carry the gospel of God's kingdom out of Palestine and into the whole world.

Erin

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Serena,

Hi,

Running with John 14: 12 . . .

The immediate context for the passage in John is the Last Supper and in John's Gospel there is some very intense instruction given to the apostles in preparation for the Shepherd being struck and the sheep being scattered.

Jesus calms their fears (seems they have finally been convinced that Jesus is actually going to die) and establishes what their work will be after that event.

Two things are directed by Jesus.

First is that the apostles will continue to do what Jesus has been doing. Primarily that is inviting any and all into the Kingdom of God and demonstrating the gracious quality of the God who invites. The apostles directly and all Christians by extension are to continue to extend the invitation and be ambassadors for the grace of God.

Second is that the apostles do greater things than "these" which I presume refers directly to the things Jesus has been doing.

Problem.

If we assume that Jesus only worked signs and wonders and that is what is being referenced it is further assumed that we are either to do qualitativly or quantitatively more signs and wonders. Jesus does mention signs and wonders (miracles) in verse 11 but it does not appear that the mention indicates that the signs and wonders are valued by Jesus. My reading is that they are minor compared to the message he has been sharing.

Translational interesting tid-bit.

"ta erga" which is translated as "the miracles" is more literally accurate rendered as "the works". Translations that use the term "miracles" are interpretting instead of translating.

Back to the position.

At any rate, I believe that Jesus is referring (in verse 11) to signs and wonders in a disparaging manner and that the "greater than these" of verse 12 references the "ta erga" of verse 12 and not the "ta erga" of verse 11. The "ta erga" of verse 12 speaks directly to his ministry which again, in the context of John's gospel is more teaching ministry than signs and wonders ministry.

My interpretation of verse 12 which only has the authority that others are willing to grant it is:

Jesus is exhorting the apostles (and all Christians by extension) to continue to invite any and all into the Kingdom of God and to embody the graciousness inherent in the nature of God.

Jesus is further promising that we would do that in bigger and better ways than he accomplished himself.

I would interpret Christianity's spread across the face of the earth to equate with bigger. Some of the social impact of the gospel has definitely touched on the better.

Having said that, we are by no means done doing either.

Having spread Christianity across the face of the earth we are also charged with the transformation of Christianity so that all aspects of it reflect the gracious nature and character of God.

Why?

Because the Church is the body of Christ and as the head is most gracious the body must also be gracious.

When we accomplish that bit of transformation we will have fulfilled all that Jesus hinted at.

Grace and peace to you.

John

sighsnootles's picture

sighsnootles

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it means that jedi master yoda sounds an awful lot like jesus... COINCIDENCE!?!?

GRR's picture

GRR

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RevJohn: Having spread Christianity across the face of the earth we are also charged with the transformation of Christianity so that all aspects of it reflect the gracious nature and character of God.

Amen.

RevJamesMurray's picture

RevJamesMurray

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It means this is a living tradition, and each of us is to further it, and add to it.

Jeffery's picture

Jeffery

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I have to agree. The grammar sucks. Can you insert a subject ("you") in the middle of a verb phrase ("will do")? Or is "you" an object? A passive voice on top of it -- that is if "greater things" is the subject. This is a grammatical nightmare. What translation does this come from?

Ah. Here's the problem, Serena has misquoted scripture -- I knew Jesus cared about grammar! A internet search of all Englsih translations didn't reveal any passage that saids "greater things will you do than I."

John 14:12 (Revised Standard Version) as it as follows. "In most solemn truth I tell you that he who trusts in me--the things which I do he shall do also; and greater things than these he shall do, because I am going to the Father." Still a passive voice -- sigh.

I think the meaning is clear. If we trust in Christ, we will do some pretty awesome things. Why aren't we? I guess we don't have enough trust.

Neo's picture

Neo

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We've already done greater things. Look at organizations like the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders. What are these things if not Love on a global basis.

I believe one of the greatest misconceptions of the churches today is the belief that only Christ had the ability to see God. Remember when Jesus took John and James up the mountain to see the face of God? The couldn't handle it at the time and ended up covering their faces. But the potential is there.

""Know ye not that ye are Gods?" The Kingdom of God is within all of us. It is up to us to travel that path up the mountain and find the God within us. Christ can only show us the way by example.

Christ was the first flower on Earth. The moment he said "Thy will Father, not mine" was the moment that a Spiritual connection was anchored on Earth. A connection that all of us will eventually make.

As the previous commentor implied: It is your destiny!

Serena's picture

Serena

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Jeffery charges , Serena has misquoted scripture

Couldn't be? Not Serena Serena never misquotes Scripture.

Actually it is a direct quote from the Living Way Bible that shortens passages. I would never have survived without it in Bible College. :)

But I have to agree Jesus cared about grammar. I did not put the comma in at first either because I did not know the italics did not work in the post title.

But all these things aside this is the Scripture that bothers me the most because forget about doing GREATER things than Jesus I am not even doing half or a quarter of what He did and I am nearly as old as He was when He died so I have to get started at least and I don't know where to start.

Diana's picture

Diana

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Serena - I don't know if this is helpful or not - but when Jesus said that we would do greater things than him, I don't think it applies to us as individuals as much as it does to all of us as the church.

All of us together are now incarnated as the body of Christ; in order for Christ's love and power to be felt in the world, and to do whatever great things Jesus hoped for, I believe we all need to work together - as individuals we are just parts of the whole, as a church, we have the potential to be greater than the sum of all our parts.

Like Rev John said - we're not anywhere close to being all that we could be, but at least we have the potential.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaa's picture

aaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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It means - take a look at everything Jesus said and did.
"You" refers not only to the disciples, but also to us guys and gals, every one of us.
If we learn, understand and focus we can do everything that Jesus did and more. We would be able to turn water into wine, heal the sick with a touch, and raise people from the dead. We would find that Jesus was not magical and unique, he was simply an example for all of us.
If you continue to think he was completely separate from humanity and above us miserable sinning slobs then you will miss the point of this passage.

revjohn's picture

revjohn

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Diana,

Hi,

You wrote:

we're not anywhere close to being all that we could be, but at least we have the potential.

Amen to that.

A wise man once wrote:

No one has it altogether but together we can have it all.

That is why the Church is a community and not just an individual.

Grace and peace to you.

John

GRR's picture

GRR

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Strangely, Bill Gates said the same thing when asked if he thought anyone else would create the revolution that he did.

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