Thursday, 1 April 2021
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." – John 14:1
John 14 is one of those marvellous passages in God’s Word that is inspirational and deeply significant to the life of the Lord’s disciples then and now. As those who represent the Saviour in a hostile world, a disciple of Christ needs the Saviour’s personal assurances found in this chapter.
Jesus knowing that His life on this earth was coming to its culmination was seriously concerned that the impending event could undermine the hearts and minds of His disciples as well as their faith level. As we study the John’s Gospel, we see that from John 13:31 through chapter 16 is one long farewell address often interrupted by questions from the disciples. The ultimate goal of these chapters is to provide help for their troubled hearts which we note from Jesus’ words in John 14:1& 27.
It is obvious that the disciples were troubled, as the Lord encourages them with the words, “Let not your heart be troubled,” and by the promise of His peace in 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” In view of the perturbed hearts of the disciples, John 14:1 is crucial in establishing them in their faith. Jesus could see into His disciples’ minds, from the events that happened in Chapter 13 that triggered a troubled heart. Jesus addresses with their heart condition saying, “Let not your heart be troubled.” A troubled heart can be the cause of various factors—restlessness arising from political, social, financial, occupational, misunderstandings within family or church, worry of future, etc.
Jesus sees another problem—fear coupled with unbelief. The greatest problem in man is his fear caused by unbelief in God. This is the root and heart of wickedness; and wickedness leads to troubled hearts. Isaiah 57:20-21 says, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up refuse and mud. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’”
The disciples had troubled hearts also because of their lack of understanding of the Word related to the sufferings of the Messiah. Though clearly taught in the Old Testament, they had not yet grasped the need of the cross. They believed in Him as the Messiah, the Son of God, but they were struggling with His repeated mention of His death and resurrection. Lack of spiritual understanding about God and His plan not only weakens our faith, but also results in troubled hearts.
So how do we get understanding? By asking questions and getting answers through the Scriptures. There are a number of questions asked by the disciples; questions by Peter (13:36-37), by Thomas (14:5), by Philip (14:8), and by Judas [not Iscariot] (14:22); there is actually an unasked question that the Lord answers (14:12-14). It is helpful to note that these questions portray the anxieties of the human heart and of a troubled mind. Amazingly, all of the questions find their answer only in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
In summary, let’s note how these verses speak to our innermost needs and questions of life. as the text shows, the answers to these questions are found in the death, resurrection, ascension and return of Christ. Let not our hearts be troubled but let us find Christ’s presence and peace indwelling us!
Prayer: Father, open the eyes of our understanding to know You and the revelation in the Scriptures that will eliminate all the unbelief and the fear within us, so that we will be immovable in our faith in Christ.