Summary: We so often apply these words to our temporal concerns and troubles- but the disciples hearts were troubled because of fear they would be without Jesus (momentarily, and even eternally). We should be like them- and make being with Jesus our cheif concern.
¡§Do not let your hearts be troubled¡¨ Jn 14:1-7 WBC 29/2/4pm
These are marvellous words of Jesus
- words that I have gained comfort from many times
- words that are special and dear to many, in a society that we perceive as anxious and troubled. Stressed
But, let me share what the experience of many is ACTUALLY like
- (it¡¦s a well kept secret, as a certain kind of Xian is loath to be honest about this, as they perceive it as failure)
- = the peace evades them. They try and trust but it tumbles out of their hands
o and so, rightly, they emphasise bits from v1 like ¡¥do not LET your hearts be troubled¡¦
„X rightly aware that we have a role, choice to play in taking on a troubled attitude
But still Jesus¡¦ words here don¡¦t have full impact on their lives.
Why is this?
Because we fail to see the context in which Jesus is talking and promising, here.
- we automatically assume it¡¦s in the context of our troubles; work, partners, relationships, anxieties, debts, parents, children, cars
o those things that are the focus of our troubles, today
But Jesus¡¦ comments are in the context of Him going away (ch 13)
- and the disciples are suddenly filled with doubts and troubles over this
o how are we going to cope without you? We want to be with you, Jesus- NOW and in ETERNITY
o it¡¦s a friendship thing, an intimacy thing, a thing of eternal spiritual significance for their souls
o ¡§we need you, and we want CONTACT with you!¡¨
But, you see- we¡¦re most often concerned with OTHER things
- and therein lies the nature of the problem
- and why Jesus¡¦ words don¡¦t SEEM to have their power to us
- our very applying of these words to other things is a symptom of where the problem is. It¡¦s a sign of the state of our soul and our culture
What are the things we are concerned about? What do we pray about?
- not that these things are wrong, necessarily. But maybe you¡¦ll learn this evening that they¡¦re in the wrong place
- we pray about, and apply this to- the THINGS OF THIS WORLD
In Britain on the Couch, Oliver James gives two reasons why people in the 1990s are unhappier than in the 1950s. They shed interesting light on Bridget’s (jones’) preoccupations. First, that we compare ourselves unfavourably with others. The media present us with so many images of super-cool, super-sexy, successful people. Eventually we begin to feel as though these are the really important things in life - and we don’t score too well. This is exactly the motivation for many of Bridget’s resolutions. In the relationship marketplace there’s always someone who’s more beautiful, more composed or better adjusted.
The second reason for our unhappiness is broken attachments. The rise in the number of fractured families and ’gender rancour’ (disputes between the sexes about changed roles, etc.) have given us a world of broken relationships. Our culture is very individualistic but the individuals in society are often left feeling isolated or in relationships that are shallow.
From "Why society is unhappy" www.damaris.org
But their concerns here are for their souls and their relationship with Jesus
- completely different things, priorities
o and for that concern and goal they are promised peace and told to trust
Illustr: ¡¥what the world thinks of God¡¦ (thurs 26th Feb 04 pm BBC2)
- I¡¦m only just disseminating all that was in it
- Fascinating: we have real problems here in the Uk believing in God because of the suffering and poverty ¡¥elsewhere in the world.¡¦
o But: ¡¥elsewhere in the world¡¦, where they have that suffering and poverty- their souls are blossoming!
„X Such trust and peace in their lives! Evidenced!
Indeed! ¡¥Fortunate are the poor in sprit- for they WILL see God!¡¦
And you know why this is: because their primary concern is for their relationship with God¡K Jesus¡K the state of their souls¡K and their destination for eternity
- and so they get peace and trust thrown into the deal, here!
- This passage works for them- because that¡¦s what it¡¦s about
Jesus is saying- trust God. Trust me. I will be there
And the words about the ¡¥rooms¡¦- this is in the context of intimacy with Jesus in eternity
- in Jewish wedding, after betrothal, the bridegroom would go away to prepare a room for his bride (normally at his parent¡¦s house)
- then he¡¦d come back and take her to be with him
His disciples understand this. That Jesus is using ¡¥bridegroom language¡¦ in telling them that He¡¦ll come back
- and they are immediately troubled- ¡§but the bridegroom can only come back for one bride. Which one of us will it be?! I can¡¦t be without you, Jesus!¡¨