John 14 is peppered with a number of verses on belief. This is nearing the pinnacle of Jesus’ teaching and he wants to make sure that his listeners get His central message about belief.
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 initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.
29 “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.
Jesus lays out the plan for the future to his followers. Jesus is going to leave, the Father is going to send the Holy Spirit, and anyone who truly believes will do greater works than Jesus. Wait, what??? In verse 12 Jesus mentions “works” and “greater works”, what is He getting at here? The works mentioned in the first half of the verse literally means supernatural works such as healings. The promise that Jesus gives here is not only to the apostles but to all who believe in Him. But Jesus doesn’t stop there, He continues by saying “great works than these he (the believer) will do.” Are we to interpret this as we, the believer being able to do greater works than Jesus?
The word “because” is an important part of understanding Jesus promise here. ὅτι is causal in the Greek. This means that the cross and the ascension is the reason that believers would do greater works. The death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus would make these “greater works” possible. So what are these “greater works?” That believers would get to be part of the process of others coming to believe in Jesus. Think about it, when Jesus made this statement the journey of belief in Him was just beginning. Jesus could foresee countless new believers coming into the fold, and he knew that would only happen as believers in Him carried the torch and continued the work that He began. We are part of these “greater works” if we communicate belief in Jesus with our lifestyle and actions.