Let not your heart be troubled – John 14:1a
Is your heart troubled? Are you upset and broken because someone is leaving? Is there something else which has put your life in turmoil? Jesus has exactly what, no Who you need in times of trouble. On the night Jesus was to be arrested and He was to depart for the cross, His disciples were very troubled. The One who had been their Master, Provider, Protector, Instructor, and their loving Leader in life was now leaving. Greater separation anxiety and grief could never be known. Jesus knew the trial His leaving would create for His followers. So He shared with them that the help they needed to weather this storm was on the way.
The Christian life cannot be lived by mere human strength or resource. We need a Helper; the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus told the religious leader Nicodemus that “You must be born again” or be spiritually birthed by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5 and 7). Jesus explained to this very religious man, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Being a Christian and especially a disciple of Jesus is much more than religious ceremony or ritual. Eternal life is spiritual life and that life is found in and through Jesus (e.g. John 3:16).
Trials are frequently the means by which we learn eternal truths. God often uses difficulties that lead us to the end of ourselves to pass the baton of understanding and spiritual growth to Him. That is what happens here. Jesus has just told His disciples that He is going away (John 13:33 and 36). This naturally raises the eyebrows of His disciples. They have relied on Him for over three years now. They have grown to worship and adore Him. He is their “Lord.” To hear Jesus say He is going away and that where He is going is a place they cannot come was disheartening and very troubling. So Jesus uses this trial of separation anxiety to comfort and teach His disciples. Trials are a little more bearable if we learn something from them; answer the “Why?” question.
Jesus offers help for troubled hearts. John 14 begins Jesus’ most detailed and thorough teaching on the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is introduced by Jesus as “the Helper.” The first “help” we see the Holy spirit provide is help for troubled hearts. The Holy Spirit is the Helper who helps us live Jesus’ abundant life. The Holy Spirit is the One who helps us live the abundant life through times of want and despair. Let’s look at this encouraging chapter in Jesus’ ministry to the disciples. There is much to learn and apply that will help the troubled heart.
“Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1a). Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean you won’t be troubled. The disciples were “troubled” (Greek tarasso); stirred up and agitated. There are many causes of a troubled heart in this life. Here the disciples were experiencing inner turmoil when Jesus said He was leaving them. It’s never easy to hear that loved ones are leaving temporarily or permanently from this life to the next. Even in the best of circumstances it is difficult to handle. Parents grieve the departure of their children. Children grieve the departure of their parents. Loved ones are grieved when they have to be separated due to business or calling. Death is the great separator: “We finish our years like a sigh. . . . So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:9 and 12). “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Death disturbs our heart. It’s troubling to people when they are separated from their loved ones. That is what the disciples were feeling now and that is what Jesus is going to comfort them about.
Jesus continued, “you believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1b). Trust Jesus when you’re troubled. The first thing Jesus says to those troubled by separation anxiety is to believe in Him. Jesus instructs His disciples to move beyond their generic belief in “God” to believe In Him. This shows Jesus equates Himself with God. But it also shows He wants His disciples to have a personal faith relationship with Him.
Are you experiencing a troubled heart or inner turmoil due to separation from a loved one? The first thing to do is turn to Jesus and trust Him. “Believe” (Greek pisteou) is a verb which means to have faith in, to entrust, and to commit to, to put trust in. A verb is a word of action. Jesus uses this word to tell His disciples to entrust their troubles to Him. That is what we need to do as well. When you are troubled by any situation the first thing is to bring it to Jesus and entrust it to Him.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2). When troubled understand Jesus has a plan. Jesus was leaving but He was leaving for a purpose. Jesus had a plan. And that plan involved returning. Whenever we are troubled we should take comfort in knowing that God has a plan He is working out.
Jesus eases the troubled hearts of His disciples by pointing them to heaven. That is a good path for us to follow too. Whenever this temporal world gets us down, we need to remember this place is not our home. We have a wonderful eternal place called heaven that awaits us (cf. 1 Cor. 15:19; Colossians 3:1 ff.).
Heaven is a place where we will have all the time in the world to enjoy all God has put in our heart to enjoy, because there is no time there. Heaven is a place that is “for you.” It has eternal enjoyments tailored to every “you” or individual. We will worship and be with the Lord, but we will also enjoy with Him our unique interests.
Heaven is a place where work will cease to be labor but will be reset to something humanity enjoys to partake in (Genesis 3; Psalm 73). Heaven is a place and existence where everything is just right and perfect. We will have eternal bodies and be perfectly suited in every way for eternity with the Lord. Heaven is a place where we won’t have time restrictions to cause us to rush; there won’t be time!
Jesus speaks of His Father’s “house” (Greek oikia), a building, abode or house. This can also mean an estate (Greek oikos which in Koine Greek became interchangeable with oikia). Jesus says in His Father’s house are “many” (Greek pollai) “mansions” (Greek monai) or places to stay, abiding places. “Many” means more than one or numerous but with no specific number in mind. The meaning of “mansions” here carries with it the idea of a prolonged stay or permanent place. Life on this earth is temporary. Life with Jesus in His Father’s house is permanent (John 14:2a).
Some have speculated that the “mansions” Jesus speaks about could be our glorified bodies necessary to live eternally with God. That is possible. Paul referred to the human body as a “house” (2 Cor. 5:1). But the words Jesus uses here seem to convey the idea of a place in the presence of His Father. It is a place where people live in close proximity to the Father. It is Jesus’ Father’s house so Jesus will be there too. It is more likely that Jesus is referring to what John describes in the book of Revelation as “a new heaven and a new earth” which make up God’s estate (cf. Revelation 21).
If this wasn’t the case Jesus said “I would have told you” (John 14:2b). This is therefore something we can count on. We can trust Jesus. If on the Father’s estate there wasn’t a place for Jesus disciples to stay Jesus would have told us that. But we can look forward to being with Jesus on His Father’s estate. And what an estate it must be!
The purpose of Jesus’ departure is to prepare “a place” for His disciples (John 14:2c). “Place” (Greek topos) can be defined as a place, a location, an area, a region or a room. Jesus is preparing a place “for you” or that is particularly personally suited for the disciples.
There may also be a connection with wedding imagery here. In the Kedushan wedding ritual, in preparation for the wedding the groom would go and prepare an addition to His father’s house for him and his bride to live in. When the addition was completed the groom would then come for his bride, and take her to his father’s house, have the wedding, and then have a one week honeymoon in their newly built addition to his father’s house and then live their lives there.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3). When troubled understand Jesus has a purpose. Jesus comforts His disciples with the assurance that His departure is for a purpose that will benefit them and that His separation from them is not permanent but temporary. That must have been a huge comfort to the disciples.
Jesus’ return is as certain and reliable as Jesus Himself. He said he would rise from the dead and He did. He said He will return to take us where He is going and He will. You can trust Jesus.
Jesus will return for His disciples. He would see them again after the resurrection. Then He ascended to heaven. But even at His ascension angels informed the disciples that He would “come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11). Jesus is coming back! He will return for His saints at the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:10) and He will return with His saints at the 2nd Coming (Revelation 19). For us we echo the words of Peter who said, “Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9). We wait joyfully for the return of our Savior.
“And where I go you know, and the way you know.” (John 14:4). When troubled rely on what Jesus has already revealed to you. When we’re troubled we often are looking for what we don’t know or understand. Instead of searching for what we don’t know we need to first remember what Jesus has already revealed to us (in His word).
Jesus has been referring to His heavenly destination throughout His ministry (John 6:62; 7:36; 13:33, 36). He has just told them He is going to His Father’s house. The disciples have overlooked or not paid close enough attention to what Jesus has been saying and teaching them. They are troubled in part because they are in a state of denial or ignorance due to negligence and inattentiveness. God always prepares us and He uses His word to do it.
“Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” (John 14:5). Thomas the inquisitor needs more information and clarification from Jesus. There’s nothing wrong with asking questions. That’s how we learn. If it weren’t for Thomas’ question we might not have had one of the greatest gospel truth statements of the Bible.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). When troubled turn to Jesus to find the way, the truth and the life of your situation. Jesus answers with another “I am” statement. Jesus is “the way” in that He is the road one travels in order to get to the Father’s house. Jesus is like a bridge that enables us to span the chasm caused by sin that separates us from the Father. Jesus is “the truth” in that He lights the way with His truth so that we know to stay on the road to heaven (John 8:12). His truth exposes darkness of sin and helps us stay on His path of eternal life. Jesus is “the life” in that He is the way of life to be imitated (John 13:15; 1 John 2:6). He is also “the life” as the means the energy and power by which we can experience abundant eternal life that culminates in eternal life.
“No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jesus is the exclusive way, truth and life that lead to the Father. There are not many roads that lead to the same destination. There is only one exclusive way, truth and life and that is bound up in Jesus alone. You have to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord if you want to reside with His Father. There are no alternatives or detours; only Jesus.
“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? (John 14:7-9). When troubled consider whether or not you “know” Jesus. If you don’t know Jesus and a trial hits that troubles you, your problem will be compounded by groping for answers because you don’t know the One with the answers. Sometimes God will use a trial or trouble to draw you to know Him. The best preparation for the inevitable troubles of life is to have a saving personal relationship with Jesus in place when they come.
It is the final night before Jesus goes to the cross and He wants to make sure His disciples, who have shown a certain spiritual dullness, understand who He is. Jesus shares how knowing Him leads to knowing the Father. “Known” (Greek ginosko) means to become aware, perceive, understand, and be conscious of. Jesus has performed signs, taught with power and authority, He allowed them to see His prayer life, and brought the disciples to live with Him for three years of ministry. Jesus is leaving no room for speculation. He is clearly stating He is the way to know the Father.
These words of Jesus to Philip show a degree of disappointment at his dullness to grasp after over three years of ministry just who Jesus was. Jesus doesn’t harshly rebuke the disciple. He demonstrates some of His love in longsuffering and lifting up to understanding (cf. John 13 notes and 1 Corinthians 13:4a). And Jesus would soon teach them of a Helper who would assist their understanding (John 14:26; cf. also 1 Cor. 2:9-14).
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves” (John 14:10-11). When troubled go to Jesus understanding He is God. When Jesus says, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me” He is speaking of His part in the Triune Godhead. God is eternally one God in three Persons – Father, Son Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Not three gods but One God in Three Persons. Jesus therefore is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1). When you see Jesus you see God in the flesh; He makes His abode or tabernacles with us (John 1:1, 14 and 18; cf. also John 10:30; 12:45; col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3).
Jesus words that “the Father is in Me” also have great significance. They mean incredibly that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:19). Salvation is totally a work of God and His grace. His Triune nature makes such a redemptive plan possible.
This is something Jesus says we should believe based on His words as well as His works. John used the record of Jesus’ sign/miracles the way he did because Jesus said they confirmed who He was.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12). When troubled understand that through faith in Christ you have what you need to get through your trials. This is an incredible statement and promise by Jesus. He speaks of doing “greater works” than what He did. In what sense would His followers do greater works than Him? The book of Acts is filled with accounts of miracles but none are greater than the ones Jesus did. Therefore, when Jesus says “greater” He is not speaking about greater in quality but doing greater works in terms of quantity. His followers have done a greater quantity of works than Jesus since His ascension.
But note the qualifier to doing greater works. “He who believes in Me” is the prerequisite for doing such “greater works.” “Believes” (Greek pisteou) is in the present tense and conveys the idea of an ongoing continual growing belief in Jesus. You can’t just cite His name and poof, a miracle happens. These “greater things” flow out of a living vital saved faith relationship with Jesus.
The words and works of Jesus were done in conjunction with the Father in Jesus (John 14:10b). The works Jesus did were in accord with the Father’s will. Therefore when Jesus speaks of His disciples doing “greater works than these” it includes that those greater works are part of the Father’s plan and will.
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14). When troubled pray. It isn’t as though Jesus is uninvolved in the subsequent works of His church. Miracles and ministry are done in His name and by the Spirit’s empowerment and gifting. We are co-laborers with Christ (1 Cor. 3:9-11). We plant and water the seed of His word. The increase comes from Him (1 Cor. 3:7-8; cf. also Mark 4:26-29). That done in Jesus name means to be done like Jesus would do it. That done in Jesus’ name, the way he would do it, is what brings glory to God.
“If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). When troubled consider if you have a genuine love for Jesus. Jesus states the fruit of true genuine love of Him is obedience. His commandments are summed up in loving like Him (John 13:34-35). If you say you love Jesus, you’ll love others like He would love them. When a person claims to love Jesus but lives in a hateful sinful way, it exposes a false “faith” and hypocrisy.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (John 4:16). When troubled seek the Helper – the Holy Spirit. Jesus responds to genuine love with a prayerful request to the Father. Jesus is interceding for us right now (Hebrews 7:25). And what He prays for is that the Father would “give you another Helper.” “Another” (Greek allon) means another of the same kind. “Helper” (Greek Paraclete) means helper, one who comes alongside to help or one called alongside to assist. The Spirit therefore is by nature a Servant, like Jesus. The Spirit comes alongside us to help us in our walk with Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the Third person of the Triune Godhead. He is separate and distinct from Jesus. But He is just like Jesus. And therefore, when the Holy Spirit comes and indwells a person it is just like the presence of Jesus with you FOREVER. Jesus is saying that through the ministry of the Holy Spirit His disciples would never be separated from Him. Their hearts must have rejoiced at that.
Jesus continued, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). When troubled the Spirit will speak through the truth of His word; the Bible. The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth.” The Holy Spirit is not the author of lies, Satan is (John 8:44). The Holy Spirit inspired God’s word the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Jesus said God’s word is “truth” (John 17:17). How do we discern the voice of the Spirit from the voice of another? We simply hold up to the template of God’s word anything we hear. If it is within the parameters of God’s word then we can be assured it is from the Spirit of truth.
When troubled understand where you stand with the Helper/the Holy Spirit. The world can’t receive the Spirit of truth because it belongs to their father the devil (John 8:44). The god of this world Satan has blinded the sinner (2 Cor. 4:4). It is only by the grace of God and the Spirit’s convicting the world of their need of a Savior Jesus that anyone could or would be saved (cf. Acts 26:18; Ephesians 2:1ff.). The person who lives without Jesus is spiritually dead. They must be born again of the Spirit to know the Spirit.
Jesus said the disciples “know Him” the Holy Spirit. They may not have been aware of the Holy Spirit but Jesus said the Spirit of truth had been working with them all along. The Holy Spirit works in anonymity. We will see that the Spirit points people to Jesus.
Jesus used prepositions to describe the relationship the disciples had and would have with Him. Jesus said, “for He dwells with you and will be in you.” Jesus said the Helper Holy Spirit “dwells” with the disciples. “Dwells” (Greek meno ) means stays with, stand fast, dwells, abide, continues with, waits, endures, or be permanent with.
Jesus said that at that moment the Spirit dwelt with the disciples. They had yet to be indwelt by the Spirit. At that moment the Spirit was with them. The Holy Spirit is with a person prior to conversion. The Spirit convicts the sinner of their sin and need of a Savior. The Holy Spirit draws sinful people to consider and accept Jesus as Savior.
Jesus said the Holy Spirit “will be in you.” It is apparent by these words that the disciples had not yet been born again of the Spirit. We will see evidence of this happening later in John (cf. John 20:22). Jesus speaks prophetically that the Holy Spirit would indeed indwell these disciples. But it is clear too that at this point that had not occurred. These disciples were not yet born again and indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
By the beginning of the book of Acts Jesus’ disciples had been born again. But Jesus instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them before they launched out to fulfill the Great Commission. Jesus referred to this as the Promise of the Father (Acts 1:4-5) and being baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).
There is a third preposition “upon” used in the Bible to describe our relationship with the Holy Spirit. This third preposition describes a totally surrendered heart of a person and a total trust in the Holy Spirit to empower them for service (Acts 1:8). At Pentecost the followers of Jesus who had been praying (Acts 1) were all empowered by the Holy Spirit coming upon them (Acts 2). (The generic phrase “filled with” can also be used to refer to this experience.) When the Spirit came upon the disciples they were transformed from fearful hiding disciples to bold witnessing and serving disciples. The book of Acts is an account of the effects of the Holy Spirit on the lives of Jesus’ followers.
The nature of the power of the Spirit is a compelling driving love for Jesus and love of Jesus for others (Romans 5:5; 2 Cor. 5:14-21). The disciples, baptized with the Spirit, were so in love with Jesus that they would give their lives in ministry for Him and wanted the world to know and worship their Lord of love.
“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18). When troubled understand Jesus is with you by the Holy Spirit. Jesus brings His conversation full circle. They were concerned with His departure. Jesus is telling them that while he may be leaving them physically, He would always, through the Helper Holy Spirit, be with them eternally. That must have been an incredible blessing.
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). When troubled hope in the risen Lord Jesus. In a few short hours Jesus would go to the cross and give His life a ransom for many. They would see Him no more as he was put in the tomb. But three days later they would indeed see Him as He would rise from the dead. For 40 days he would appear to them and then he would ascend to heaven. His resurrection from the dead meant others would rise from the dead too. But Jesus is not in a stone cold tomb, Jesus has risen; HE IS ALIVE TODAY; NOW; RIGHT NOW! And through the Holy Spirit He is reaching out to you. He is knocking on the door of your heart waiting for you to open and invite Him in to fellowship (cf. Rev. 3:20). Will you answer His knock? Will you open and invite Him in ?
“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20). When troubled understand whether or not Jesus dwells in you by the Spirit. The resurrection will be pivotal in the understanding of the disciples. The resurrection is the Father’s imprimatur on all that Jesus said and did. The resurrection proves Jesus and the Father are One; united in relationship; Triune in nature. And “at that day” when Jesus has risen from the dead and the disciples see Him, they will know that He is the way, the truth and the life and they will fully trust Him. They will be born again of the Spirit entering into that eternal relationship of “you in Me, and I in you.”
This doesn’t mean the disciples will become part of the Godhead. It means they will know Jesus in a saving way and have a personal relationship with Him by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It means Jesus indwelling us by the Holy Spirit is our hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21). When troubled don’t obey as a bargaining chip with Jesus, obey out of love for Jesus. This relationship between the disciples Jesus and the Father is one held together by the love of Jesus. We demonstrate our love for Jesus by keeping or obeying His commandments. Jesus and the Father love those who show their love to Them in this way. Jesus asks us to obey Him out of love for Him not out of fear of Him. Religion uses fear and guilt. The religious person obeys as a bargaining chip with God; to earn favor with God in hopes that He will meet our demands or requests, e.g. “If I go to church You have to fix my relationship,” Or, “I will go to church and You do this for me.” Without love people relay on coercion, manipulation, extortion with others and with God. That is not the way of Jesus. Religion relies on works; relationship with Jesus receives the work of the cross Jesus offers in love. Jesus is not about religion, He is about relationship.
Jesus relies on love to motivate His followers to obey. He loves us as much as He can already. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:31-39). His love for us is established on the cross. We don’t earn His love; His love is a gift of His grace. When we realize that truth, it fills our heart with a love that motivates us to want to please Jesus and bless Him with our obedience. When we realize how much the One who resides in us loves us, it makes us want to live our lives as a love offering to Him (e.g. 2 Cor. 5:14-21).
“Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” (John 14:22). This Judas is not Judas Iscariot who betrays Jesus. He is also known as Thaddeus (Mat. 10:3). This is the only words attributed to him in the Bible.
Judas might have been fishing to see if Jesus would establish His kingdom on earth at this time. This would have been on the minds of those waiting for Messiah. How and why would Jesus manifest Himself to the disciples and not the world if as Messiah he would establish a Kingdom?
“Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:24). When troubled live a genuine love that obeys Jesus; obedient love is an invitation for Jesus to take up residence in and with you. Jesus doesn’t respond to the short sighted query. Instead He speaks of love evidenced in obedience. Disobedience is equated with not loving Jesus. And not loving Jesus is equated with not loving God as a whole.
Jesus speaks of the indwelling presence of God in the disciple’s lives. “We will come to him and make Our home with him” speaks of the experience of the indwelling of God in the believer. Imagine, God in us. Incredible! Do you understand that as a Christian God dwells in you? And if God dwells in you, can you imagine the unloving disrespect and offense it is to parade sinful things before Him in your house? God in Christ is in the house. Love Him. Show your love by obedience.
“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:25-26). When troubled and searching for answers and solutions rely on the Holy Spirit to teach you. The Holy Spirit is our Helper. He “will teach you all things.” The Holy Spirit helps us understand God’s word. So go to the word of God and prayerfully seek the Holy Spirit’s illumination and insight of God’s truth. When you study the word of God do so prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand.
The Holy Spirit will help “and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” the Holy Spirit will even help our memories! That is a wonderful promise especially as we get older.
What more could we want to live victoriously than to understand Jesus’ words and help to remember them?
“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” (John 14:27). When troubled seek the peace of Jesus. “Peace” (Greek eirene) means peace, harmony, tranquility, health. Jesus peace is distinct from anything the world offers. We have peace with God through faith in Jesus (Romans 5). And through the prayer of faith we can experience the peace of God that settles us in times of trial and anxiety (Philippians 4:6-9).
But there is a part we play in receiving this peace. Jesus exhorts His disciples to “Let not your heart be troubled” (Greek me – not; tassestho – Present/Middle/Imperative – troubled, stirred up). “Neither let it be afraid” (Greek mede – not; deiliato – be cowardly, timid, or fearful). Jesus exhorts, “Don’t let your heart get stirred up or troubled, don’t be cowardly and fearful.” This is a call to act in faith. Jesus has taught them about His presence in the Spirit. They need to take what He has said to heart and live it by faith. Resist fear by faith in Jesus.
There is very practical truth for us to apply here. When we are tempted to be troubled in heart and afraid in some way, we need to step out in faith and trust in Jesus. He is there with us in the Spirit. We need to rest in His presence. That’s something the world just can’t offer or understand.
“You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). When troubled remember that Jesus is coming back. Here Jesus speaks of the other orientation of His love. Jesus is telling His disciples to stop merely thinking of themselves and think about the bigger picture of what Jesus was doing.
When Jesus says, “For My Father is greater than I” He isn’t saying He is less in quality or nature than the Father as though He weren’t God or part of the Triune Godhead. Jesus set aside His position of authority to come to be incarnated with humanity. When He refers to the Father as “greater than I” He is saying the Father is in a “greater” position of authority than He was while incarnated on earth. Jesus and the Father are of equal quality and nature but as the plan of the Triune God is being carried out and Jesus is Man, He is in a position of submission to the Father like any other man. That is what Jesus is saying.
We might understand this in terms of us and the president of the United States. The president is greater than us in authority and position but that does not necessarily make him a better human being. We actually may be more moral and have more integrity than the president of the United States. But he is in a position of superiority as president. Once his term is over he will have as much power as a non-officed citizen.
“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here” (John 14:29-31). Jesus has prepared them for what is to come. Jesus gives us His word to prepare us for what is coming so that we will be able to believe in what He is doing. Satan has plans but they have nothing to do with Jesus. Plans made without consulting Jesus in prayer are more likely to be influenced by the devil. The purpose of what Jesus will do on the cross is “that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do.” That commandment is love. Jesus is doing what He is doing to show the love of God.
There is help for the troubled heart. Jesus has laid it out for you in John 14. The help we need is from the Helper the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to turn your life and life situation over to Jesus by faith. Admit your sin to Him. Ask His forgiveness based on the belief that Jesus paid your sin-penalty of death on the cross. Receive His forgiveness by faith and be indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Do that, and whatever trouble you’re in, you will be helped.