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Can believers do greater works than Jesus did?

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    Can believers do greater works than Jesus did?

    In modern times, among believers, there is an ever increasing number of arguments and teachings, according to which believers would be capable of doing qualitatively greater works than the Lord Jesus did. When we study this in regard to what the Bible in full says and witnesses about this topic, we can see that the disciples of the Lord Jesus are not capable of doing greater works, i.e. greater in power (the Holy Spirit) than what Jesus did. Instead, the word "greater" refers to powerful works that are done through the Holy Spirit and that are greater in number and done by a bigger number of people. Spend time in prayer and compare the present text to what the Bible teaches us. More info: Can believers do greater works than Jesus did?

    #2
    Hi PetriFB, I'll take a look at the link you left for us later today and get back to you, but for now I'd just like to say, WELCOME TO CF :)

    Yours in Christ,
    David
    Simul Justus et Peccator ~Martin Luther

    "We are justified by faith alone, but the faith that justifies is never alone" ~John Calvin

    "The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us." ~C. S. Lewis

    "The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances" ~Elisabeth Elliot

    "The law is for the self-righteous to humble their pride; the Gospel is for the lost to remove their despair. ~C. H. Spurgeon
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      #3
      PetriFB
      Greetings and welcome.

      While I generally agree, there seems to be one sense in which the believers get to do a qualitatively greater work than Jesus did on his earthly ministry. We get to preach the full Gospel and baptize people and witness them receiving the power of the Holy Spirit. While Jesus walked the streets healing sick and raising dead, he could not do this one act because his time had not come. We have the joy of living after his time had come and enjoying the greater power ... the power of the Holy Spirit to transform from within ... than Jesus manifested to his followers when he lived as a man.

      Thus our greater power does not take away from the glory of Jesus Christ, our greater power is precisely because he has been Glorified!

      Strictly my personal belief, but it would be an amazing thing to raise someone from the dead, but it is a far more amazing thing to see a dead soul restored to more life than anyone would have ever dreamed possible. The first I have never seen, but the second, I have seen many times. I would not have that the other way around.
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        #4
        Just as all Christians are "greater" than John the Baptist, our work is greater, as atpollard has explained, because we can bring the fulfilled gospel to sinners.

        If we only were aware of how great our sin was and how holy God is, we would easily understand that a sinner coming to repentance is a greater miracle than a mountain being thrown into the sea.

        "I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
        Last edited by thatbrian; 09-05-2016, 03:27 PM.
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          #5
          "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." John 21:25, ESV, Lutheran Study Bible Edition.

          First off, put that verse in your pipe and smoke it a bit, and no, I am NOT trying to be flippant, but only bluntly honest. Come, come now! We are talking about GOD here! God Incarnate in the flesh here. You can bet that the above, the things that Jesus did, no doubt included many miracles that we have no record of. I mean, seriously, who among us can raise the dead and make the blind to see and the deaf to hear with a touch? And how many other miracles did he perform that we don't even begin to know about?

          To suggest that we can perform acts greater than the Lord and God of the Universe is to commit the most grievous blasphemy I have yet heard in 42 years of life. I don't even know what to do with that.I don't blame you for asking the question. Its entirely a legitimate one. But I do question anyone who would answer it in the affirmative, that indeed, someone CAN do things greater than our Lord. That just blows my brain!
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            #6
            Originally posted by Diego View Post
            To suggest that we can perform acts greater than the Lord and God of the Universe is to commit the most grievous blasphemy I have yet heard in 42 years of life. I don't even know what to do with that.I don't blame you for asking the question. Its entirely a legitimate one. But I do question anyone who would answer it in the affirmative, that indeed, someone CAN do things greater than our Lord. That just blows my brain!
            Just FYI:

            John 14:9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, 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. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
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              #7
              Huh! The two points do seem a bit contradictory. INTERESTING!
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                #8
                Jesus said we would do greater works than he did because he was going to the Father. One result of his return to the Father was that he sent the Holy Spirit to empower us, so the works we will do are really the result of God working through us.
                Clyde Herrin's Blog
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                  #9
                  John 14:12 makes great sense from an Evangelist's perspective. Considering the growth of Christianity over the millenniums.

                  God bless,
                  William
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                    #10
                    Jesus was limited in scope to what he could do, mainly because of the geography and historical time period. However, he made a note that future generations would be able to do stuff even greater than what he did. That should be a very exciting thing to think about.
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                      #11
                      Originally posted by PetriFB View Post
                      ...we can see that the disciples of the Lord Jesus are not capable of doing greater works....
                      Who is "we"?
                      You don't, I do ...

                      Jesus made people whole physically, but still "in the flesh", the receiving of the Holy Spirit (the ministry given to disciples since Pentecost) makes them sons of God, spiritually complete, "new creatures", "free indeed". These are just nice sounding words until ou actually receive the same - see Acts 2:4, 33 for details.
                      Other verses referred to: - John 7:37-39, Romans 8:8-9, John 3:3-8, 2 Cor. 5:16-17.

                      Jesus came to show what was possible under the old covenant but his death enabled the bringing in of a better covenant,

                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Diego View Post
                        "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written." John 21:25, ESV, Lutheran Study Bible Edition.

                        First off, put that verse in your pipe and smoke it a bit, and no, I am NOT trying to be flippant, but only bluntly honest. Come, come now! We are talking about GOD here! God Incarnate in the flesh here. You can bet that the above, the things that Jesus did, no doubt included many miracles that we have no record of. I mean, seriously, who among us can raise the dead and make the blind to see and the deaf to hear with a touch? And how many other miracles did he perform that we don't even begin to know about?

                        To suggest that we can perform acts greater than the Lord and God of the Universe is to commit the most grievous blasphemy I have yet heard in 42 years of life. I don't even know what to do with that.I don't blame you for asking the question. Its entirely a legitimate one. But I do question anyone who would answer it in the affirmative, that indeed, someone CAN do things greater than our Lord. That just blows my brain!
                        Yes, you are quite right IF the subject were to be about doing greater works than God or even Jesus the Christ rather than Jesus the man.
                        So far as the written miracles that Jesus performed, I have either been a part of, or witnessed, or know of many instances when these miracles you mentioned have been performed obviously with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
                        Jesus said, YOU tell the mountain to be removed: He did NOT say, ask me and I'll do it for you.

                        Seriously though, Diego, you do defend our Father and the Savior quite well but it was the Savior who said it and frankly, I believe it. It is NOT Blasphemy to believe the Lord nor attempt to abide by His words and put into action what our belief and hope through Him makes evident.
                        What, pray tell, are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?

                        Love ya and God Bless...........Bobby




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                          #13
                          Whether it is that any one person can do greater works than Jesus only time can tell. Really I think that without Jesus giving us pure examples, that none of us could know where to begin how to do good works. He is our guide, showing us the way forward in how to behave. Each one of us has the ability to do great things that would benefit other people. For example, Mother Theresa who worked all her life to relieve the sufferings of others. Jesus is an example for all of us as Christians to follow, in our own ways to do our best for Gods great plan.
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                            #14
                            The gospel of John records Jesus' healing of Lazarus:

                            John 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

                            Jesus' enemies recognised his application of power and reacted. It's a shame that their reaction was negative. When the enemies of God's truth recognise (even if only reluctantly) the miracle, that's a powerful sign: John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 12:10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 12:11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

                            Jesus raising of Lazarus was incontrovertible evidence that Jesus had power from his Father. The Chief Priests, rather than accept Jesus' claim to be the son of God, planned the destruction of Lazarus. And this resurrection occurred four days after Lazarus had been dead and his body had started to decay.

                            It's risky to generalise but I will take that risk here. There is one constant for people in power. The lust for power. Why did the Chief Priests feel the need to kill both Lazarus and Jesus? It was to protect their powerful positions:

                            John 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

                            Not much changes over the millennia? ; - )

                            But the massive power demonstrated by Jesus gives us comfort - we too can rely on the resurrection at Jesus' return. There is nothing that men can do to prevent the bodily resurrection of the saints at Jesus' return:

                            Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

                            Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

                            1 Cor 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

                            1 Thes 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

                            So why didn't the Chief Priests recognise the immense power that Jesus wielded? It's yet another real life case that puts human nature on display. And Jesus virtually predicted the exact circumstance:

                            Luke 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

                            Moses and the prophets? The prophet Daniel in this case:

                            Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
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