John 12:12–26: The Kingdom of Jesus
Toward the end of the previous section, Jesus offered an eyebrow-raising comment: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do, and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). We talked about what this will mean in general—the conversion of sinners toward faith in Jesus for salvation—but that still leaves a lot of questions.
Why must Jesus actually go through the cross, die, be resurrected, and return to his Father for these “greater works” to happen? What role will Jesus’ disciples play in these greater works? How long will this continuation of Jesus’ earthly ministry continue?
The deeper we go into these issues—and the further that Jesus speaks about them—the more we realize that Jesus’ earthly ministry is only the first part of a larger work. While Jesus’ virgin birth, baptism, public ministry, teaching, preaching, and miracle-working has been remarkable, there is yet more to do. Even after Jesus dies, rises from the dead, and ascends to the Father—even up to today—Jesus is still completing his mission.
1. What did Jesus accomplish during his earthly ministry? If Jesus finished everything he came to do (cf. John 19:30), then what more is there to accomplish in this world? What implications does that have for us individually as Jesus’ disciples, and for the church as a whole?
2. What is the relationship between Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Why does Jesus call the Holy Spirit “another Helper”? Does the Holy Spirit replace Jesus? Is the Holy Spirit necessary? What implications are there for us as we consider the total unity of mission between Jesus and the Holy Spirit? How do we fit into that mission?
3. Why does Jesus promise to indwell us? What is the significance of Jesus’ word in the way that Jesus and the Father will come to dwell in us by the Spirit? What comfort can we take from the promise that Jesus will not leave us as orphans (John 14:18)?
4. Do we need new words beyond the Bible? Why or why not? How can we know God’s will for our lives without having something more than the Bible? Why is it so important for us to remember the things Jesus spoke while he was still with us?