“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 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 authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”
This passage is so familiar to many of us. We've heard it preached and read at funerals, and we have read it over again ourselves. It is a treasure. It's a comfort. It is also very down-to-earth and relevant to our lives today. One of the most common struggles that we have as Christians is that of a troubled heart. We want so badly to trust Him, to lay our burdens on Him, and to live freely and joyfully.
But do we?
Many times the answer is no. We fret and worry. We fail to trust Him fully with the problem we are facing. Let's look at what Jesus tells us in this passage.
Remember what John told us in the first chapter of his gospel? He was writing so that all of us would "get it" and understand Who Jesus was, and why He came. Look at John 20:31, also:
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son
of God and that by believing you may have life in His name.
John wants us to trust and be assured of the reality that Jesus is the Messiah, the One Who fulfills all of the promises of God. And he wants us to treasure the fact that He is God among us, and that we can be connected with God through connecting with Jesus. That life "in His name" is the life that includes the power to have an untroubled heart.
So, here in the fourteenth chapter, is the living God, the creator of the world, present among us in our world in His Son. Jesus is the eternal, loved, image of the Father, and through believing in Him and receiving all that He gives, we are connected to the Father and share in an abundant life.
In these verses, Jesus will show us how He and the Father will "tag team" our worries, if you will, and overcome our troubled hearts. They will give us strength and peace to carry on with our lives in loving service. Jesus calls us to trust Him, and to trust the Father. He's even going to give us reasons why we should!
Notice that verse 1 and verse 11 both seem to make a similar point:
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe
on account of the works themselves.
So He is encouraging us to show belief. Faith. The opposite of our hearts being troubled. Trusting Jesus for Who He really is, and also trusting God, are included in each other.
Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in Him who sent me.
So the whole point of this first portion of chapter 14 is to ditch our troubled hearts. To trust Him. And in trusting Him, trust the Father.
Think about it . . . He had just told them that He was going away. And He had said that they could not go with Him. And He had really lowered the boom on Peter -- He said Peter would deny Him before the night was over!
There were reasons a-plenty for all of them to be sitting there with troubled hearts. But right away (we can ignore the chapter break) He tells them, "Don't be troubled."
He's saying, "Instead, trust me. Trust God."
He is saying that to each of us, too.
I hope you will join us for the rest of the week, and hear more.