An Excerpt from Jean Vanier’s Book “The Gospel of John, The Gospel of Relationship”

Jesus says “If you believe in me, you will do the works that I do, and even greater works”.

“Can you imagine what the disciples are thinking? First of all, Jesus knelt down to wash their feet like a slave. Then, Jesus told them that he would soon be leaving. Now, he tells them they will do the works he has done! They cannot understand. What are the works of Jesus that the disciples – and all of us are called to do? Some say the works of Jesus are miracles, such as the resurrection of Lazarus, or the healing of the blind man. But no – the work of Jesus is to reveal The Father. Jesus reveals who God is – a God of goodness, compassion, and forgiveness. The work of Jesus is also to give life. And life is relationship. Thus, the work of the disciples is to lead people into a relationship with God through Jesus and to transmit life through the gift of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus adds “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. Let us ask Jesus so that we may do His work. The disciples cannot understand – but the key to the question is to come. Jesus tells them “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Paraclete, to be with you forever. This is the spirit of the truth that the world cannot receive, because it has not seen him. But you know him because he abides with you.” We have here the fulfillment of the promise given us by God through the prophet Ezekiel that he would “change the heart of stone into a heart of flesh.”

“I will put my spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Through Joel he said: “I will spread my spirit on all flesh” (Joel: 3:1). And through Jeremiah, he promised: “I will put my law within them. And I will write it upon their hearts. I will be their God … for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Jeremiah 31:33).

The Old Testament is a revelation of these new things that were to come.