From My Editing Work: Greater Works

From my reading in Meditations on According to John (forthcoming next week) by Herold Weiss, pp. 91, 92:

… Jesus’ work was consummated when he was lifted up, on the third day, on the cross.

It is, therefore, somewhat disconcerting to read the promise Jesus makes to those who believe in him: “He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and even greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father” (14:12). The work of Jesus was to enact the sign of Jonah by living to do the will of God, something that Jonah had much difficulty in understanding and accepting. By contrast, Jesus understood and fully accepted the purpose of his life. He accomplished the work he was assigned. At the end he was able to truthfully say, “It is finished”. What greater work can be done by the one who believes in him? I don’t think the members of the Johannine community supposed that they would be performing miracles (dynamis) greater than those Jesus had performed. Rather, they saw themselves as witnesses to The Truth and understood that their hour would also come. At that time they would have to work out the sign that points to the work of the one glorified on the cross. Their food, that which sustained their lives, was their determination to transpose the words that Jesus had spoken to them into life-giving works. For them, his words were “spirit and life” (6:63) when incarnated into their lives. They were to give signs that called attention to the one who was in “the heart of the earth” for three days. In the lives of the faithful the connection of their works to their ultimate purpose in life must not be ambiguous.

Jesus lived performing signs that pointed to the time when he would finish his work. Therefore the life of the Christian must provide signs that advertise the source of strength and vision for those who live by faith. Signs and faith must remain closely bound in the lives of the disciples of the one who is THE SIGN that must be seen and believed.

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