John 14:8-14 Greater Works

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

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 for anything in my name, I will do it.

Greater Works

What does Jesus mean by ‘Greater Works?’  Some think that we are empowered by God to do greater things than Jesus did in quality.  I don’t think that this can be the case.  How can someone do more than raise another person from the dead like Jesus did with Lazarus?  How can one do more than come back from the grave and save humanity from the effect of their sin?  I believe we are left with the idea that we will do greater works in quantity than Jesus did during his three years of ministry.  There were those with Jesus at the time who did greater things.

Tomorrow I will be talking on Galatians 5 with the Sunday School at the McHenry campus of The Chapel.  Our focus will be on the fruit of the Spirit.  I believe that the fruit of the Spirit is more to be desired than the gifts of the Spirit. In fact the gifts should be seen as flowing from a life that is producing fruit.  The works that we do in abundance should be marked by love, gentleness, humility, kindness and self-control.  We may do miracles and move mountains, but if we do so without love we have lost the heart of Jesus’ teaching.


May I seek you and then thank you when I live a productive and fruitful life for your glory and the support and flourishing of others.


  1. What have those who have seen Jesus see?
  2. What are the qualities reflected in a true disciple?
  3. What does Jesus say true disciples will accomplish?
  4. What quality of works is Jesus looking for today?
  5. What quantity of works might we expect to produce as Christians?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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14 Responses to John 14:8-14 Greater Works

  1. Jenna says:

    1. They’ve seen so much! They’ve seen Jesus heal, cast out demons, calm storms, multiply food, and raise the dead!
    2. According to the next chapter, Jesus’ disciples are those who abide in His love by keeping His commandments.
    3. They will do “greater works” than the ones that Jesus had done.
    4. Jesus is looking for works of obedience; He says to ask for things “in My name,” or things that are according to His will and character. He’s not looking for us to pray crazy prayers or to ask Him to work miracles through us, necessarily. Rather, He wants obedience and love and wiling submission to His will to characterize our ministry.
    5. We will probably do “greater” things that Jesus, in the sense of more things. For most of us (God willing), our ministries will be longer than three years, and we will have the opportunity to spread more love and knowledge of God than Jesus was able to do in three years.

  2. Beth Coale says:

    1. They’ve seen Jesus do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with (and in obedience to) His Father
    2. love, trust, obedience
    3. They’ll continue doing His work, following His example, they’ll take up their cross & follow Him
    4. He’s not just looking at what we do – but who we are as we do them (our character)
    5. I think of the parable of the talents, and to whom much is given much is expected

  3. Amy McCashen says:

    1. The Father.
    2. They will do the works of Jesus.
    3. They will do the same works as Jesus and even greater works and they will experience God’s answer to their prayers.
    4. High quality! (but not as high as Jesus)
    5. We are expected to let the Holy Spirit produce His fruit in us and His work is always of the best quality.

  4. jelee15 says:

    Those who have seen Jesus see the Father. Jesus’ followers will do His works, loving others. Jesus says true disciples will accomplish greater works than He did. Jesus expects our best quality as we love others. I don’t know if we can quantify the works Christians can produce, but we should be making disciples, developing the next generation to love God.

  5. sjcavitt says:

    1) They have seen Jesus’ many miracles and works. They have seen His life!
    2) A disciple of Jesus must first believe and trust in Him and also do all things in love.
    3) He says that a true disciple will do the works that He did and that the Father will be glorified.
    4) He is looking for disciples who love and serve both Him and people in love!
    5) I believe that we are to respond to the calling that Jesus has put on each of our individual lives and to be willing to follow and trust Him.

  6. Rachel says:

    The Lord longs to unite believers to himself, which means filling them with the Spirit. An outpouring of this filling is to display the fruits of the Spirit. I believe that God can and does perform miracles even today, but that believers are not commanded to do the same. We are commanded to be faithful and to have a heart after His.

  7. What are the qualities reflected in a true disciple?
    “Just like Jesus, a true disciple will glorify God in and through the glorified Son. Jesus always reflected the Father, so we as God’s adopted sons and daughters need to constantly want to glorify Him in our lives.”

  8. karas says:

    Jesus wants Philip to get it. If he still doesn’t realize that to know Jesus is to know the Father, he has failed to understand what Jesus is saying. I feel that as a teacher, I want my students to get it — to know the triune God and to have a personal, growing relationship with Him. If they do not get this, then what is the use of learning anything else? I like the promise for greater works because Jesus is now with the Father, because it reminds me that Jesus is interceding on our behalf. Let us pray with faith, because He is able and willing to answer.

  9. Dominic shortridge says:

    As we work in Missions and Evangelism, Christ seeks for us to be faithful in our actions and intentions. Sometimes it can become a temptation to be a part of ministry for the sake of impressing people and Although God can still use us. I think God desires a meek and willing heart to be a part of ministry, a heart that understands our inferiority and relies on him and him alone.

  10. Kathleen says:

    When the people see Jesus, they see the Father. I want to live my life in such a way that when people see me, I point them to Jesus. In disciples, Jesus is looking for obedience. I believe that we are called to be faithful with what the Lord has given us.

  11. ashleypdye says:

    1. Those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father.
    2. Trust and obedience.
    3. They will do his work.
    4. Great quality.

  12. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. What have those who have seen Jesus see?
    The Father.
    2. What are the qualities reflected in a true disciple?
    Those who know the Father and do his works.
    3. What does Jesus say true disciples will accomplish?
    Something about greater works. Possibly the era we live in where more Chrisitans are coming to faith than ever before.

  13. nataliaria says:

    According to this passage, those who have seen Jesus have seen the Father. They have seen the power and justice of the Father in the miracles Jesus has performed, as well as His compassion, grace, and mercy in Jesus’ interactions with those around Him.

    Jesus tells the disciples that true belief in Christ will be accompanied by works that glorify God, and which are only possible through Christ’s work in the believer’s life and heart. These true disciples will accomplish more works than Jesus Himself did while on earth, which I interpret (as Mr. Worrall does) to refer to quantity rather than quality, and may even refer to the collective works done by many Christians, not just one.

    Jesus still desires that His believers engage in works on this earth. I believe that these works are to be characterized by two things; first, they stem not out of desire to earn His love, but rather out of worship. Second, these works are to flow out of a total attitude of service, and a heart characterized by the fruit of the Spirit. As to the quantity of works produced, in Romans today we discussed the “living sacrifices” of Romans 12:1, and I was convicted as to the low level of expectations I hold for myself as pertains to serving the Lord. I think that it is not at all unreasonable for Paul to call on believers to live their entire lives as sacrifices dedicated to works for the Lord, and I think that this is what God wants, as well.

  14. zacbodine says:

    It is kind of funny that we teach for comprehension of a subject when Jesus’ own disciples and friends did not understand concepts he was saying and after being with him for so long. When they look on the face of Jesus they see the face of God yet they still do not understand. How much more of an object lesson and case study could you have than God in the flesh in front of you? Once they see God they will do the actions God tells them. If we are faithful, honest, and worshipful we will do great works.

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