Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Oh, help! The greater things? What are they? Could they be every good invention of mankind from the time of Christ till today, whether discovered or invented (the original meaning of the word invented was ‘found’ or ‘discovered’) by Christians or not? He is, after all, the Light that enlightens every man that comes into the world, and, as the Psalms say, ‘by Your Light we see light’.
Well, maybe, maybe not.
Jesus Christ didn’t personally invent brain surgery, heart transplants, a cure for cancer (are we there yet?), or such devices as automobiles, airplanes, and outer space probes. Nor did He come up with electronic devices, computers, or the internet. All of these seem to be ‘greater things’ that He doesn’t seem to have had time to do while He lived His thirty-three years as a man on earth. But who did come up with these things?
And those are the better ones. What of the worse? Sex change operations, the electric chair, and nuclear warheads? Well, have you noticed these are things that have their usefulness but are nothing great in themselves? For better or for worse, they are just earthly development of already existing resources. The human brain, though, is still the creation of the Almighty God.
What greater things I think the Lord is speaking of are simply those things which His disciples will perform in their lives with faith in Him, the same things He did in those thirty-three years, only more of them because we have a longer span of space and time in which to do them.
‘Greater’ can be a relative term. What things can we do that are greater than those done by the Son of God?
Well, He healed and saved a few thousand whom He touched, we could, if we dared, heal and save millions. But no need to get all hot around the collar, nothing to worry about. He only expects us to do ‘greater things’ with those whom He places in our paths. Remember, ‘greater’ can be a relative term. Even to smile at a stranger can be a greater work than inventing a new kind of running shoe. That stranger could have been thinking of suicide. Instead, the smile encouraged him to call a friend, who then helped him back out of the hole he was in.
Yes, greater things.