Summary: Jesus never intended the church to be anxious about the future.
March 21, 2010
Text: John 14:1-3
Subject: Jesus Teaches His Disciples
Title: No Fear
As we have gone through these weeks leading up to our Easter Celebration I have been reading a lot in the Bible about what took place during that time before Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. I have really been focusing on the things that Jesus told His disciples on His last night together with them. It never ceases to amaze me that Jesus, who knew exactly what was about to happen, took the time not to be comforted, but to comfort those that He would leave behind.
He told them about how their relationships with one another should be shaped. Each should be willing to be a servant of the other. Being a servant is not a sign of weakness or lack of leadership abilities. It’s just the opposite. A servant leader is one who leads by example. A servant leader is one who would never ask someone to do something that He himself isn’t willing to do.
He told them about how love should be the primary quality that shines forth from their lives. The love that He was talking about is the kind of love that we can have for others only through a restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
He told them about the Holy Spirit – the One whom He would send in His place. The Holy Spirit would be their comforter, their counselor, their leader – everything that Jesus had been for them and more. He will bring to remembrance all the things that Jesus had told them. He will convict the world of sin. He will draw people to Christ. He will lead them into all truth.
In Matthew’s gospel we read that He warned them of the things that would happen on the earth before the end of the age. There will be wars and rumors of wars. There will be earthquakes and disease and pestilences. Nation will rise up against nation and kingdom against kingdom. Christians will be hated by the world. There will be famines… and these are just the beginning of the birth pains.
I don’t know about you, but if I had been one of the disciples and Jesus had been telling me these things, and knowing that He had said He wasn’t going to be around much longer, I might have been just a little worried.
But on that last night, sandwiched in between His teachings about servanthood and the Holy Spirit, Jesus shares a promise that has become the hope that the church has come to hold on to without fail.
John 14:1-3, I’m reading from the NKJV this morning, 1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In 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. 3And 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. The NIV says it this way, 1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
I want to show you this morning that there is no reason to fear if you place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. TRUSTING IN THE PERSON . 1“Let not your heart be troubled; At this point in the conversation of the night the disciples must have become very distressed. Over and over Jesus had told His followers that He was in the Father and the Father was in Him. If you have seen Me you have seen the Father… that He only did what the Father did. Yes, I’m going away and you can’t come where I am going… yet! But don’t let your heart be troubled. The heart refers to the inner man. Some say it is the soul – the non - physical part of the natural man i.e. emotions, intellect, personality… I believe the heart refers to the spirit man. You should never be troubled in your spirit. Even though it may look like your world is going to come crashing down all around you, you never need to be alarmed. Psalm 34:19, A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all… Of course that’s talking about one who is righteous, not because of his works, but because he belongs to the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:21, God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. You know, I guess the disciples had as much to be troubled about as any other people in history. Jesus told them what the world would be like. He told them that they would be persecuted and martyred. He told them that they would be hated because the world hated Him. He told them that He was going away. They thought that everything they would have to face they would have to face alone. But then He says, Trust in God; trust also in me. Or NKJV, you believe in God, believe also in Me. The word that is translated as trust or believe means to be fully persuaded or to have great moral conviction. In other words, if we are thoroughly convinced that God is God, if we are fully persuaded, then we should trust Jesus also. Why? How can we be sure that Jesus is worthy of our trust? Because we have God’s word on it! Hebrews 1:1-3, 1In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Did you get that? Jesus is the exact representation of the Father. So if you want to know what God’s desire is for you in this life, you don’t have to look any further than Jesus. What Jesus did then He is still doing today. What God’s wanted for His people then, He still wants today. He wants to save. He wants to deliver; He wants to heal; He wants to provide. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. Romans 4:16, Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. So don’t be troubled about the things that are happening around you. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and you can trust Him.