One thing that fascinates me is that John is the only one who recorded the words of Jesus between the upper room and the garden. These words are so important to us, and yet three of the four writers of the New Testament left them out. My guess is that John was probably the closest to Jesus, and He recalled the words, and how important they were to him. In any case, today and tomorrow we will look at some of these last words of Jesus to His disciples.
John 14:1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 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. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
The command to let not our hearts be troubled is one that we ignore all too often. We get troubled over the minutest details in life and wonder how things will work out. We worry and fret about things we have absolutely no control over, imagining our worry will do some good. Often, we try to figure our way out of difficult situations before we even get into them! Oh, how foolish we can be.
The simple truth is that God has it under control – we believe in God, we should believe Jesus. In this passage He is referring to the fact that He is leaving and He will prepare them a place. But the greater picture is that He is always taking care of us, and we do not have to worry about tomorrow. 2 scriptures come to mind. Matthew 6:34, which tells us not to take any thought for tomorrow, because it will take care of itself. We just need to do what the previous verse says (Matt 6:33) – seek the kingdom! keep our eyes on the prize – Jesus!
The second scripture is one that I try to live by every day. It is the scripture that prompted me to move from Massachusetts to Iowa 39 years ago. Proverbs 3:5 tells us to Trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not to what we understand to be happening around us. If we fully trust in Him, our heart’s will never be troubled by situations around us. We will be at peace (more on that later)
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? 10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
All the time the disciples spent with Jesus, and here they are still asking to see the Father. They had seen all the miracles and teaching first hand, and had seen the crowds throng to Him. How could they miss it?
How can we? I know so many people who read their bibles, go to church and have a good prayer life, but they still don’t really know Jesus. They don’t understand He demands their allegiance, and He requires their obedience. This is not an optional service we are in. Oh, we are free – free from sin and the shame and guilt that accompanies it. Now we have new marching orders – win the lost, heal the sick, open blinded eyes, cast out demons – the same call that Jesus had on His life.
This is not a casual thing! In case you haven’t noticed, we are in an all out spiritual war in this country and around the globe. It’s time for Christians to put on the whole armor of God and fight the battles God sends their way – one at a time. The ultimate battle has been won, but skirmishes are still taking place. God will give you the strength and stamina you need to be victorious – you just have to engage in the battle.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
I have seen way to many preachers and evangelist and Christians use these verses to say that God will give us anything we want. Anything. But that is not true. Asking in Jesus name means asking according to the word and will of God. Jesus name is the Word, which became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). If we ask according to His will and His word, He will do it. Let’s make sure we are not just throwing up prayer request that have no correlation to ether of those things. This is serious business!
Then Jesus says if we love Him, keep His commandments. When you look through those things that Jesus commanded, you will get a real good picture of the Kingdom of God, and you will also see why the church is so far away from it so often. Briefly, He tells us to live in forgiveness, not to judge, to love one another, to correct any offenses we have right away, to be peacemakers, to live a meek life, to be merciful – shall I go on? These are things that I believe we all strive to do – I know I do – but fall woefully short most of the time because our flesh gets in the way. I need to work harder at fulfilling His commandments to show that I love Him!
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
I rely on the Holy Spirit every day. He comes in and brings a calm to my life when all is not calm. He guides me in putting these little devotionals together and in writing my poems. He comforts me when I am troubled, and watches over me when I sleep. He is an ever present friend and helper, and I depend on Him a great deal. I hope you do as well.
For many years, I read the bible through in a year. It was a very fulfilling thing to do, but eventually it became a task rather than a pleasure, so I stopped. But the benefit I got from that is that the words are in my head. I may not have everything at my fingertips, but they are in there. And I may not be able to give you addresses where things can be found, but they are in there. If they are in there, the Holy Spirit can “bring them to my remembrance”. That is what I see as the advantage of reading the bible all the way through at least once. Of course, He can bring things into your mind that have not been put there as well. But we should be students of the word, and that means the whole word. It all works together to form and shape our devotion to God.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
He left His peace here. Are you enjoying it? In this world, there is much turmoil and trouble – it never seems to end. But when we have a solid relationship with Jesus, and place our unwavering trust in Him, we can enjoy a peace that the world will never understand. We will not be troubled by any storm or test that comes our way. We will simply trust God, and know He has it under control. This is the place He wants us all to be. Are you there?