In John 14:1-4 Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Fatherís house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know." Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled..." The word "troubled" speaks of an inward agitation or fear. Someone who is troubled has lost a calmness or a peace of mind that they should otherwise have. The same word is used in the Bible when Jesus walked on the water and the disciples were troubled because they thought that He was a ghost. If we have faith that God loves us and that He is in charge and that He knows what is best for us, then we will not be troubled.
The disciples were troubled because Jesus told them that He was going away and that they would see Him no more. If you love someone, it can be troubling when something happens and you realize that you may not be able to see them again. I remember when I was a child and we lived in Illinois in the small town of Monmouth. My grandparents lived on a farm about ten miles out of town, and the day came that we decided that we would move to California and we went out to the farm for the last time to say good-bye to the grandparents. There were many tears and much sorrow in saying good-bye. That sorrow and troubling of the heart that we felt at our family separation must have been somewhat similar to what the disciples felt at the prospect of seeing Jesus no more. After all Jesus was a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and He was their teacher, and their master, and their savior.
No matter what happens to you, you do not have to be troubled about it. In these few verses of the Bible Jesus gave the solution: how to keep from being troubled no matter what happens to you. Two important things to know to keep from being troubled are in John 14:1. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled." We have a choice as to what we think about. The human choice and the human will have a lot to do with how we interpret things. We can look at the good side or the bad side of something. We can let our hearts be troubled by what has happened, or we can let them not be troubled.
Instead of being troubled by what has happened to us, we can do the other thing that Jesus mentioned: we can believe. Jesus said that instead of being troubled we should believe in God and believe in Him. We should trust and depend upon God instead of the circumstances. Itís through faith in God that we will find the means to not be troubled by the things that happen to us. Another reason for the disciples to not be troubled that Jesus was returning to the Father was the fact that they would eventually join Him. Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you." The important point to always remember is that life on this earth is temporary. Even if you were to suffer the worst things that could happen to a human being, it would only be temporary. The most important thing is that you end up in heaven, and if you have trusted Jesus to save you from your sins, then you will end up there, because this is a promise that Jesus made to all those who believe in Him. "In my Fatherís house are many mansions. If it were not so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."
When Jesus told the disciples that He would be betrayed into the hands of the leaders of the Jews and that He would return to the Father from whom He came; the disciples were also troubled because they had always expected Him to establish the Davidic Kingdom right then and there. The disciples knew the promises from the Old Testament about the Messiah and how He would re-establish the glory of the Kingdom of Israel, and they waited expectantly for Jesus to fulfill those promises. Therefore, they must have been tremendously disillusioned once they realized that things were not going to work out the way that they had hoped.
But Jesus lets them know that things were going to work out even better than they hoped. He said, in verse 3, "I will come again." What the disciples did not understand, was that there are two comings of the Messiah. In the first coming He came to die for our sins, but in the Second Coming He will fulfill the ancient promises about the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus will come again.
What humans need to know now is how to become a part of the Kingdom of God. The Bible says in John 14:5-6, "Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where you are going; and how can we know the way? Jesus said to Him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but by me." Thomas asked Jesus a very important question. He asked Jesus the most important question in the world. There is nothing more important than your eternal destiny. "What shall it profit a man, should he gain the whole world, but lose his soul; or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?"
Jesus gave Thomas a very clear and straightforward answer. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but by me." If you know Jesus, then you know the way, because Jesus is the way. If you know Jesus then you know the truth, because Jesus is the truth. If you have received life from Jesus then you have life that will never end, because Jesus is the life. True service to God is not a religion, itís a relationship with the Son of God.
Jesus said, "...no one comes to the Father but by me." The reason that Jesus has such authority is because of who He is, and because of what He has done for us. He is the divine Son of God, and He is the Savior, the One who died for the sins of the world: for your sins and for mine. Therefore, Jesus and Jesus alone can bring you to the Father and to the Kingdom of heaven where the Father dwells. No religion, no church, no human can bring you to the Father. Only Jesus can bring you to the Father. No sacrifice, no good deed, no effort on your part can bring you to the Father because Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but by me." The only question is: have you come to Jesus and believed on Him and received what He has to offer?
If you have not come to Jesus and believed on Him and started following Him, then you are not in the way. Youíre going the wrong way, and you do not know the truth, and you do not have spiritual life. If you do not know Jesus, then you do not know God the Father either. Jesus said in John 14:7, "If you had known me, you should have known the Father also: and from henceforth you do know him and you have seen him."
As soon as Jesus told the disciples that they had already seen God the Father, they were puzzled. They could not remember having seen God the Father. They did hear the voice a couple of times from Heaven when they were in the presence of Jesus. Why did Jesus tell them that they had already seen God the Father? In John 14:8 the Bible says, "Philip said unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it will suffice us." When you ask people what they are looking forward to when they get to heaven, many people will say that they are most looking forward to actually seeing God. In the Old Testament it was made very clear that no one would see God and live, because of the vast difference between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. Thatís the reason that Jesus came to the earth: to bridge the gap between man and God.
In John 14:9-11 Jesus explained to Philip why the disciples had truly already seen the Father. The Bible says, "Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father: how sayest thou then, Show us the Father? Do you not believe 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 dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very worksí sake."
The reason that the disciples had already seen the Father is because they had seen Jesus. The divine nature is shared equally between the Father and the Son. They are One. If youíve seen the one, then you have seen the other. If you have known the one then you have known the other also. The proof for this relationship that existed between Jesus and the Father was the words that Jesus spoke and the works that Jesus did. Thatís why the preaching of the words of Jesus is so important, and the telling of the works that Jesus did is so important. When you declare the words and the works of Jesus, you are having a part in revealing both the Father and the Son to a lost and dying world.
Jesus emphasized this in John 14:12. He said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes 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." Jesus said that it was because of the unique relationship between Him and the Father that accounted for the words that He said and the works that He did. Now Jesus is saying that there is a similar relationship between His believers and Himself. Jesus said that the outcome and the result of believing will be good works. You believe first, and then works will follow. The reason that works will follow is because once you believe, God enters into you. Itís impossible to have God in you, and then not do the works of God. One of the things that every Christian must learn is how to stay out of Godís way: how to allow God to work in and through you, and to not mess things up by your own efforts or your own will.
The important thing to remember is the great power that we have within us, if we believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God. Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Christianity is a "can do" philosophy of life. You can do it because God is in you, and nothing is impossible with God.
Another reason that we can handle any problem that comes our way or any challenge, is the opportunity and the power of prayer that we have at our disposal. Jesus said in John 14:13-14, "And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." If you understand the teachings of Jesus, there is no pressure on the believers to obey a list of strict rules and regulations by their own effort. Instead, there is a tremendous freedom and peace to rely upon God to do whatever He purposes to do with our lives. And when we hit an obstacle or a difficulty, we simply pray to Him about it, and He works things out in His own time and according to His own will.
God does an awful lot for the believer. He saves us from our sins and prepares a place for us in heaven. He dwells within us to be our constant companion and friend. Because He dwells within us, He gives us the motivation and the inspiration to do His work. God gives us the privilege to be workers with Him, and then He does His work through us. He listens to us, He hears our cries, He answers our prayers. He does a tremendous number of things for us, but there is something that He desires from us also. In John 14:15 Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
God wants from us love and obedience. God who is love, and who is the greatest giver of love, also wants to receive love. This may be the primary reason that God created mankind: in order to have creatures who would love Him out of their own free will. If you do not love God, then you have not yet become what God has created you for. Remember when Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me?" ďDo you love me with the agape love, with the great, deep, giving agape love?Ē God hopes that each of us will learn to love Him like that also. From the deep recesses of the universe the eternal question from God has always been, ďDoes anyone love me?Ē Thatís why idolatry is so horrible. When we love someone or something else more than God, we have committed the greatest injustice possible in the presence of the all-loving Creator.
Jesus warned that in the latter times because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. One of the greatest challenges of life will be to see how much you love God. The more that you understand His true nature, the more that you will love Him. If you do love Him, it will be because He loved you first. "We love God because He first loved us." And if you do love God, it will be proven by the things that you do. Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments."
The commandments of Jesus are not grievous. To do things the Lordís way will always have good consequences. Even those who do not believe in Jesus would be much better off if they did things according to the commandments of God. Whether believer or unbeliever, every failure to obey the commands of God will bring undesirable consequences and unhappy results. God does not ask us to obey commands that restrict our lives. He gives us commandments that will make us happier and more productive and more fulfilled when we obey them.
God loves you, and hopefully you claim to love God also. The greatest indicator of how much you love God will be how much you obey His commandments.
Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved