The cure for a troubled heart: Believe and trust in Christ
by Marlin Caddell
February 17, 2016
JOHN 14:1-14: 14 “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.
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
One of the most comforting parts of this passage are the words, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” On first glance, your question is probably: How does it keep my heart from being troubled for Jesus just to say, ‘Let not your hearts be troubled’?
But think about this: Jesus, the creator and sustainer of the universe, God made flesh, cares that our hearts are troubled. Of all the problems for God to concern Himself with in the world, He’s concerned about you, your family and your troubles. God cares for you! Let that sink in.
When Jesus tells the disciples to not let their hearts be troubled, understand what Jesus has just told them before this passage. He is about to leave them, and He tells them they can’t follow Him where He is going. So, the disciples are very worried about what will happen to them and what will happen to their dream of seeing Rome overthrown and Jesus established as an earthly king. (The disciples and others expect Jesus to establish an earthly kingdom immediately, while His plan is to die for the sins of mankind and establish a spiritual kingdom.)
In His great compassion and great care, Jesus doesn’t just say, “Stop that!” when the disciples are troubled. He tells them HOW to not let their hearts be troubled.
First, He tells them to believe in Him (verse 1). Belief in what Christ has done and what Christ has promised to do is the comfort that soothes the weary, worried heart. Christ and His promises are the solid rock for our souls. We don’t have to fear the future because Christ and His kingdom cannot fail. This is a physical fulfillment of Zephaniah 3:17 that says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Second, He tells them that He is not going to leave them alone (verses 2-4). He is going to go prepare a place for them and take them where He is going. This language of “preparing a place” reads just like the language a groom would tell his bride-to-be in First Century Israel. To get married, a groom would go prepare the place where both of them would live after they were married.
Third, Jesus tells the disciples that He is “the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The reverse of this statement is true: Those who go through Christ (by trusting in His finished work on the cross for their salvation) do come to the Father. Since we know and trust in Christ, we will not only dwell with the Son, we will dwell with the Father as well. God will make His home with us (Revelation 21:1-8)!
Finally, He gives us the great promise that we can approach the Father in the the name of the Son to pray! We have access to God the Father through Christ.
With all these comforts, this is how Jesus can confidently say, “Let not your hearts be troubled.”
BONUS: When you are reading verses 12-14, it’s key to read the phrase “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” People have read this verse to be a catch-all to force Jesus to do anything we want just because we’ve asked for something in His name. Again, we can ask anything in His name — that leads to the Father being glorified in the Son. Psalm 37:4 does say, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you desires of your heart.” But, here’s what happens when you delight yourself in the Lord: He changes the desires of your heart to match His desires. So, when you pray, you are praying for what will bring the most glory to the Father and the Son.