Summary: This chapter is filled with promises addressed directly to the community of faith. If we take hold of these promises our anxious perspective will be changed & our faith will be increased.
JOHN 14: 1 – 6
THE WAY TO THE FATHER’S HOUSE
The disciples were completely bewildered and discouraged. Jesus had said He was going away (7:34; 8:21; 12:8, 35; 13:33), that He would die (12:32-33), that one of the Twelve was a traitor (13:21), that Peter would disown Him three times (13:38), that Satan was at work against all of them (Luke 22:31-32), and that all the disciples would fall away (Mt. 26:31). The cumulative weight of these revelations must have greatly depressed them. [The primary theme of chapter 14 is the departure and return of Jesus.]
This chapter is filled with promises addressed directly to the community of faith. If we take hold of these promises our anxious perspective will be changed and our faith will be increased. For here Jesus calls His disciples to look beyond the trouble life holds for them and assures them that He not only will take them to heaven, He Himself is the way to heaven.
I. BELIEVE IN JESUS, 1.
II. BEING WITH JESUS, 2-3.
III. BE CONVINCED ABOUT JESUS, 4-5
VI. BELONG TO JESUS, 6.
To comfort the disciples, Jesus gave them several exhortations and promises beginning in verse 1. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
“Troubled” (Gk.tarassesthô, tarasso) is “stirred, agitated.” On three previous occasions this word was used to express Jesus’ deeply troubled feelings: when He faced Lazarus’ tomb (11:33), when He contemplated the cross (12:27), and when He reflected on the betrayal of Judas (13:21). Jesus’ confidence in the greater power and purposes of God made it possible for Him to confront each of these crises. Now the disciples must face the same feelings.
One’s heart is the center of his personality, his will and his intellect. Each believer is responsible for the condition of his heart (Prov. 3:1, 3, 5; 4:23; 20:9). They were to set their heart at ease through their faith in God and Jesus.
British preacher J. H. Jowett believed that inner peace does not come from tranquil circumstances but from an untroubled heart. He said: "If we were to hear 100 people repeating the sentence, ’Let not your heart be troubled,’ we should find that 99 of them put the emphasis upon the word troubled. . . . I feel led to believe that the purposed emphasis is on the word heart ... The heart is to be clothed in serenity even when hell is knocking and rioting at its very gates."
Jowett’s perceptive words causes us to wonder if we’re spending more energy trying to avoid difficulties than on letting them help us get to know Christ better. If so, we’re headed for frustration and failure.
When Jesus told His disciples "Let not your heart be troubled" He was preparing them for the dark day of His crucifixion. He knew they could weather the storm only by trusting Him in spite of the apparent triumph of evil. By a firm trust in God the Father and Jesus the Son, they could relieve their soul-sorrow and be sustained in their coming tests. [When Jesus said, Trust in God; trust also in Me, He was probably giving commands (see niv ).]
Today, we can focus on the trouble in the world and in our lives, or we can focus on the victory we have in Christ because His death was followed by His resurrection. This wonderful fact gives new meaning to His words, Believe in Me.
Many times along life’s way we fact uncertainties, opposition, and even doubt. When we do, it is helpful to recognize that those who lived with Christ when He was here on earth faced the same perplexities. His answers and assurances to them are meant for us as well. "Let not your heart be troubled," Jesus said (v. 1) "Believe in God, believe in Me also." We believe God can supply all the answers to our troubles. Christ is God! He is God’s solution to our troubles. Believe in Him.
II. BEING WITH JESUS, 2-3.
Jesus is not abandoning them. His departure is for a needful practical purpose. After His departure He will be working on their behalf, to prepare a place for them as verse 2 states. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
Jesus is preparing eternity for us and He is preparing us for eternity. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.
[The KJV “mansions” (for Gk. monai, “rooms”) was a seventeenth-century expression for modest dwellings; thus, we should not picture a heavenly palatial residences. This is not Jesus’ point. God’s “house” refers to the heavenly dwelling where He lives (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 21:9 – 22:5), and a mone is a place of family residence there with Him. This word is related to the common verb meno, to remain or abide. To “remain” with Jesus is the highest virtue (15:4 – 10), and He is promising that death will not interrupt intimacy enjoyed with Him]. [Burge, Gary; NIV Application Commentary, John, 391. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, © 2000. ]