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.


In a culture in which people are so inclined to extract verses of scripture from their context without consideration of the contextual influence, it is no wonder why the Word of God has lost its influence in the way of power in the way of the Christian faith. To truly grasp and understand the gravity and veracity of the aforementioned verse of scripture, you must examine it within its context.

There are few things more debilitating to the advancement of the Christian life than the misunderstanding and misapplication of scripture. Failure to accurately analyze scripture is the culprit and it will render its victim virtuously helpless.

15Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. (2 Tim. 2:15 AMP)

It is important that we not allow traditional presuppositions to enter in and cloud our focus.

John 14:12 is, without question, an extremely powerful statement; in its implication and in its designation.  What is it that Jesus was saying and how does it apply to the contemporary Christian? In order to truly understand this we need to examine the scripture within its contextual influence.

There several things in view here. First through the preceding verses, Christ is establishing his relationship with God the Father and His identity as the Messiah. He is also reiterating, as He does throughout the book of John, the efficacy of prayer. Most importantly at this point, He is also introducing a new element into the equation. We shall examine this most closely very shortly.

There are several elements of verse 12 that are tantamount to understanding the power within it:

  1. “he who believes in Me” – both in verse 12 and 14 He reveals that there is efficacy in prayer through faith.
  2. “the works I do” and “greater works” – Christ reveals that through genuine faith in Him there comes infinite power and results. (However, the third element is an absolute necessity.)
  3. ‘because I go to the Father” – It is not obvious to the superficial reader, but this is the most powerful and revelatory portion of the verse (The Third Element). This is the part I want to center this short study on.

What does “because I go to the Father” mean in this context? We begin to gain a more lucid understanding when we reach verse 16:

“16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—“

Jesus has now entered into the shadow of the cross and has begun to prepare the disciples for what lies ahead. Over the next several chapters he begins to reveal the fact that he must leave in order to fulfill the ultimate plan of the Father, but in his leaving there will be another; the comforter, the helper, the advocate – The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be a revelator, the initiator and designator of anointed purpose and so much more. Basically, the message was simple: “I have come as a part of the plan of the Father, but my work here is almost done and for the plan to be fully perpetuated, I must leave to make room for another. This is the Holy Spirit and through Him your will do marvelous works; where you lack courage now, you find courage to live within your destiny. Where you are deficient in power, you will find an unlimited source in the way of anointing to fulfill your designed purpose.

Let’s just take a brief look at some of the scriptures that open up this doctrinal truth for a minute.

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you.18 I will not leave you as orphans…26 But the (AR)Helper, the Holy Spirit,(AS)whom the Father will send in My name,(AT)He will teach you all things, and (AU)bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  (John 14:16-17, 26 NIV)

26But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me. (John 15:26 AMP)

12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13But when He, (R)the Spirit of truth, comes, He will(S)guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.14 He will (T)glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15(U)All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (John 16:12-15 NASB)

8But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. (Acts 1:8 AMP)

As you can see Christ has switch the emphasis from the present to the future. He has pointed to the source of power for every believer; the Holy Spirit. If you have taken notice of scripture you will have noticed that in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, there were no miracles performed before the Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism. His power to perform these miracles was a direct result of the transference of power by the Holy Spirit. Jesus, the man, was just as limited in human power and physical strength as we are. Except for the absence of the sin nature, Jesus was human in every aspect. Now as a whole he was the God-man; 100 percent man and 100 percent God joined in hypostatic union forever (without mergence in either essence or identity between the two). Yet, in his earthly ministry, Jesus was 100 percent human and no miracles were accomplished without the power of the Holy Spirit.

What Jesus was doing in chapters 14-16 was informing his followers that He was bequeathing to them the very sphere of power that allowed Him to do all that He had done in His earthly ministry. We can see the massive impact of this in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. In chapter 1 we see Jesus reveal to them that they will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon them. We know through consistent Bible Study, that the Apostles accomplished a few things before The Day of Pentecost (that point at which the Holy Spirit came upon them and took up permanent residence within them), but the book of acts reveals how cowards who were hiding behind a locked door and had abandoned Jesus to His enemies weeks before, boldly stepped out with unparalleled power to live out their destinies.

Now there are some that teach that John 14:12 only applies to the original Apostles that were with Christ. First of all, from the measurement of the greatest accomplishments in the way of ministry, the greatest of the Apostles (Paul) was not present to hear this; in fact, he had not yet been converted. Even more revealing in this subject is Christ’s prayer to the Father in Chapter 17.


20Neither for these alone do I pray [it is not for their sake only that I make this request], but also for all those who will ever come to believe in (trust in, cling to, rely on) Me through their word and teaching… (John 17:20, AMP)

This lucidly expresses that this power and oneness that Christ speaks of with the Godhead applies to all that believe. Faith in God and the power of the Holy Spirit is not a respecter of persons. Faith functions for the Prince as well as the Pauper.

So, in summation, the central focus of what Christ is revealing in John 14:12 is that the very power that assisted Him in His earthly ministry was going to be made permanently available to all that would believe in Him as the Messiah.

This power is now available to you who truly believe. The question is: Are you ready to walk in power?


Bishop Rick Wallace