Summary: Our troubled hearts can be relieved when our future is secure.
“Setting Troubled Hearts at Rest: A Secure Future”
In 1997, The Houston Chronicle, recorded a story about Princess Diana's death. In the early hours of August 31, the princess died in a Paris hospital after a violent car accident. Just a few weeks before her death, on August 12, Diana went with Dodi al-Fayed to see a clairvoyant. They spent almost two hours with psychic Rita Rogers. They sought guidance on their future. One witness said, "Di was grinning all over her face and looked like she had received good news." Nineteen days later she was dead. According to her psychic, this tragedy was not supposed to be part of her future.
Asia Bibi was arrested on June 19, 2009, after she engaged in an intense discussion with a group of women. Answering their calls for her to accept Islam, Asia told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammad is dead. "Our Christ is the true prophet of God," she reportedly told them, "and yours is not true." Upon hearing this, the Muslim women became angry and beat Asia, who was then taken into police custody. On Nov. 8, 2010 Asia was the first woman to be sentenced to death by hanging under Pakistan's blasphemy law. There has been an international outpouring of condemnation against the sentence and it has not yet been carried out. Yet those who have supported her are being attacked and, in some cases, have been assassinated. Her family is on the run because of threats. And even if she is freed her chances of survival are slim since a price tag has been placed on her head. But still she stands by Jesus. Why? Because her future is not in doubt.
Jesus had been informing his disciples that He was leaving them, He would be killed, Judas would betray Him, and Peter would deny Him. So to comfort and strengthen them He told them to trust Him because He had their future under control; their future was not in doubt – it was secure.
Their future was not in doubt because there would be A SECURE PLACE. Jesus immediately changed the scenery and moved into the future. “In my father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so I would have told you.” JESUS ALTERED THEIR PERSPECTIVE. He wanted them to focus not on where they were but on where they would be going. Our understanding of this scene is increased when we think of a custom to which Jesus may have been referring – the Jewish marriage custom. Getting married was a three part process. The first step was the establishment of a marriage covenant. The Jewish groom would leave his father’s home and travel to the prospective bride’s home, where he would negotiate two matters. First He would ask her father for permission to marry her. If the father agreed, they would then negotiate the price to be paid for the bride. Once this marriage covenant was established the bride and groom would drink together from a cup of wine as a symbol of the covenant.
See the picture? Jesus left His Father’s home to go to His bride’s home to establish a covenant. In fact, in that upper room He and His disciples had just celebrated and re-established a covenant as they shared the bread and wine. And the price had already been set – Jesus knew the price He had to pay. So He was free to refocus the perspective to the future. “In my father’s house are many rooms…” It was highly possible that the bride had never been to the groom’s home. He would need to give her assurance that it would be good and wonderful. So he would talk about his father’s estate and how there was plenty of room for them to build their own home and grow their family. Similarly Jesus was giving the disciples a glimpse of their future home – one worth waiting for.
The desire to have a genuine place of our own, a home, a place where we belong is a basic desire of the human heart. So Jesus knew that once His disciples agreed to follow Him they were basically uprooted and homeless. So JESUS LIFTS THEIR EYES AND THOUGHTS TO A HIGHER PLANE BY USING HOME AND FAMILY IMAGES. Jesus guided their thoughts to a place of fulfillment, of fellowship, and familiarity. He informed them that there is a room for each of them, designed for their character and life, tailor-made with their name on the door. Jesus assured them that Peter would still be Peter, John would still be John, and Thomas would still be Thomas. Peter would forget his denial and his guilt; Thomas would fully believe; Phillip would finally see the Father. The brokenness of their lives would be repaired, and their bodies remade and refitted.