John 14:1-14: Troubled – yet trouble free!

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” NIV

This was a troubling time for the disciples. They had just been hit by a ‘double-whammy’! They had been told that one of their number would betray Jesus – and they had watched as Judas left them to carry out the dastardly deed. (Though whether they fully understood all that was going on seems dubious.) They had also been told by Jesus that He was going away. That conversation continues here. There’s still confusion in the air for His followers. As with ourselves, it could take time for the penny to drop!

So, troubling times indeed.

But Jesus tells his disciples not to ”let” their ”hearts be troubled”. It is obvious – at least this is how I read it – that Jesus wants His disciples to live trouble-free even when smack bang in the middle of trouble. Anxiety, worry etc are to be resisted as much as sin. In fact these things may often be sin, or manifestations of it. The way to resist this kind of ‘heart trouble’ is to trust In Jesus (1b). And don’t miss the staggering claim that trusting in Jesus and trusting in God are parallel. Essentially, to do the one is to do the other.

In the face of temptation to worry, to fret, to fear, here is a ‘pill’ you need to take. It is the faith pill.

The other remedy is in the prayer pill (13,14). To ask that we will have untroubled hearts, when Jesus has expressly said that He wants us to be free in this way, is surely a good thing to pray. When we ask for what we know the Lord wants, we are most certainly praying in His ‘name’ and for the Father’s ‘glory’. A well-known Christian writer has recently pointed out that the Holy Spirit can cause us to feel the emotions described in the Bible. The pertinent point to underscore here is that He can cause us to live in peace. He delivers what is in the ‘prescription’ right to your door.

”Fear knocked at the door; faith answered; and there was nobody there.

PRAYER: Lord please forgive me for all the times I have not lived in the power of this truth. I have let my heart be troubled so many times. Most of the time my worries were illusory anyway. But even on the worst of days you wanted me to have an inner serenity that comes from you. Have mercy on me Lord. Please forgive my weaknesses and sins. Help me to fully live in my God-given inheritance.