In yesterday’s Gospel reading (John 13), Jesus washes the disciples feet, predicts his betrayal, tells the disciples that he is leaving – and they cannot follow, and foretells Peter’s denial.
What is going on? The disciples wonder what their leader is up to, what this betrayal is about, why he’s leaving and where he’s going.
They are likely a bit anxious, so Jesus tells them (in today’s reading):
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. John 14: 1
These guys had a lot of reason to be troubled! And occasionally, we are troubled too. I wonder if the assurances Jesus gave the disciples might also help us when we our hearts are anxious.
Jesus told His followers to believe in God and Him and then He made several promises – true for believers today, too:
- He would save them (and us) a place in heaven, come and get them, and take them “to Himself” (verses 2-3)
- Jesus is the way they (and we) can come to the Father: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (vs. 6)
- There’s a new way that the disciples (and we) will know and see the Father (vs. 7). The Cross will (and does) give a much clearer understanding of who God is. (And because of the Holy Spirit, we can have a much more intimate knowledge of and relationship with God.)
- Jesus makes it clear to the disciples (and us) that anyone who knows and sees and hears Jesus knows and sees and hears God the Father. (vs. 9-10)
- Anyone who believes in Jesus will do greater works because Jesus is going to the Father (we know now that the filling of the Holy Spirit empowers us to carry on Jesus’ work – and there are more of us than there was of Him!). (vs. 12)
- The Father will answer prayers made in the name (will) of Jesus – and these answers will bring glory to God. (vs. 13-14)
I’m thinking about areas of anxiety in my life, places where my heart is troubled. How do these promises help me?
Well, I have the God of the Universe on my side – because Jesus made a way to come to Him. No matter how bad things get in this life, I have a new life that awaits. Even if I am tortured and die, that’s not the end of it.
And I have a best forever friend in Jesus who will walk with me through everything, who we now know as the God who would die for us – and who indwells me (like the Father indwelt Him – vs. 11). He will work in and through me in amazing ways – so nothing to fear because His power, wisdom, love – all His attributes – are available to me. And He will answer my prayers.
Pretty good promises to take to a worried heart, I’d say!
Dear Lord: Thank You for all of these promises that can address a worried heart. Next time I’m worried, please remind me of them. Thanks. Amen.