What are the 'greater things' Jesus said we would do?
by Pat Franklin
The Lord Jesus said that believers would do ‘greater works’ than He did (John 14:12). What on earth did He mean? Some misguided Christians have taken it to mean that they should be running around trying to work miracles, but an Arab Bible teacher in Israel has given a very enlightening teaching on this subject.
Samuel Sabbah, an Arab Bible teacher in Haifa, said: ‘Who in 2000 years has done one single thing greater than the things the Lord Jesus did?’ He went on to elaborate on this enigmatic scripture, which is so misinterpreted by many today. Please read the rest of this article if you have had your brain muddled by false teachers.
Here is a summary of what Samuel said: “We complicate simple things as human beings. Jesus was saying ‘I am going; you are the only ones left on earth to do My work; what you ask in My name, I will do it.’
"But what are these ‘greater works’? If we do little things for Him, He counts it great! We can visit sick people. The Lord never did, because they were immediately healed! At a funeral He could not comfort those left behind - because He raised the dead person to life!
"The Lord never took a blind man to hospital, because He WAS the hospital! But if you take a blind man to hospital – in the Lord’s eyes that is a greater work than opening his eyes. For the Lord it is so great!
“In Matthew 7:22,23 we see that many people will boast to the Lord about the great things they have done in His name, driving out demons, doing wonders – and He will say to them: ‘Depart from me; I never knew you!’ They were evil doers.
"They never took a stranger home. They never fed the hungry. The works they did were not good works, and if they were, it was the Lord who did them. But if we do little things for the Lord, He counts them great!
“But what about miracles that are done in Jesus’ name? If there are miracles, let us deny ourselves and never mention them. They are not a measure of our spirituality. They are not in the range of good works. Jesus has done them – not you!
“In Matthew 25 Jesus says He will say to some people: ‘I was hungry and you fed me…I was a stranger and you invited Me in…I was sick and you visited Me…’ Compare this with John 14. These are great things!
"If you don’t visit the sick, that is very sad. These works are within our range. We need no special gift to do them. This is simply doing works that we are designed to do.”
Mr Sabbah was giving this teaching at the early morning Bible study for the residents of Ebenezer Home, the old people’s home in Haifa which is described in another article on this website. Those of us who heard this message were very privileged to be there. Please feel free to copy this and give it to any Christian friends who have been deceived by false teachers. This goes for any of our articles.
P.S. At a seminar at our home church in England in Sept 2011, Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum was asked what the 'greater things' were and he replied: It refers to quantity, not quality. No one could do better quality works than the Lord Jesus did, but we can do a greater quantity of things because we have had a longer time.
P.P.S The 17th century commentator John Gill wrote that the 'greater things' promised related to the apostles, who were granted the supernatural ability to work miracles to authenticate their gospel preaching. He makes the point that the promise is not for all believers of all times. Otherwise the boastful preachers who claim to heal the sick and raise the dead should be clearing out our hospitals! (This is not to say that God does not still heal today; He does!) Here is a link to John Gill's commentary; scroll down to John 14:12 on this site http://gill.biblecommenter.com/john/14.htm
'And call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your Father, which is in heaven.' (In defiance or perhaps ignorance of this, Catholic and Anglican priests are addressed as 'Father' and the pope is called 'Holy Father.')