Untroubled Hearts - John 14:1-6

If you’ve read through my last four blogs, you might be feeling a lot like the disciples did in the upper room. Jesus had talked about self-sacrifice, that he was going to be leaving them and that Peter would deny him. The 12 had been expecting a glorious revolution; surely all Jesus had said was confusing, disappointing and distressing. Recognizing this, Jesus now offers his disciples (both then and now) a word of reassurance.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. 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? 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” (John 14:1-3).

There’s a reason that the disciples could have hope in the face of Jesus’ upcoming crucifixion; a reason they could have hope in the face of the trials, suffering, and sacrifice that following Jesus would require. The reason is what Jesus was “leaving” in order to accomplish.

Some have gotten distracted when reading this passage by what appears to be a promise of heavenly riches, as though Jesus was saying, “all your suffering in this life will be worth it because, heaven will include your own personal mansion.” But Jesus isn’t so much addressing our eternal accommodations, but rather is speaking in a metaphor about something much more significant. In going to the cross, Jesus was preparing a place for us in God himself. Indeed, Jesus promises that when he returns again (a reference to his second coming) he will take us to himself, “that where I am you may be also.” This is all about eternal union with God. That’s the promise that can give us “untroubled hearts” throughout life’s trials.

So, how do we get there? Jesus answers this question as well in an exchange with Thomas.

 “’And you know the way to where I am going.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:4-6).

These words would become incredibly important for men and women who were about to see their leader murdered brutally on a cross. These words tie in with how Jesus kicked off the passage, “Believe in God. Believe also in me.” In other words, “Trust me. Trust in my way. Trust in what I am about to do.” Despite what was about to happen, the disciples needed to trust in three things:
Jesus is the way. His life, death and resurrection pave the way for us to the Father.
Jesus is the truth. He is completely reliable in all that he is and all that he does.
Jesus is the life. True life comes from Jesus alone.

May you remember these same truths in whatever you’re facing. If you are living in a season of relative prosperity, remember that there is no substitute for true life in Christ. If you are living in a season of difficulty, remember that peace and contentment can come through Christ even in our trials, and that the life he offers will have the final word, not the trials we go through now.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Hold on. Trust in Jesus.

Sean's Picks

What I love about this book by Rich Villodas is that it's tailored to our time and place. It's a collection of spiritual disciplines, but specifically selected and applied to address our current context. For example, one chapter is entitled "Complative Rhythms for an Exhausted Life" and another is "Missional Presence in a Distracted and Disengaged world." Rich is the lead pastor of New Life Fellowship in Queens, NY.  Click the image above for more.

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