Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled (A Meditation on John 14:1-14)

Woman Contemplating by Kathe Kollwitz

Woman Contemplating by Kathe Kollwitz

Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

But…

ISIS thugs wage their ghastly campaign of fear and domination, and Syria bleeds.

Russia grumbles and schemes of war, and Ukraine burns.

Boko Haram spills rivers of blood in the cause of jihad, and Nigeria weeps.

And yet Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God; believe also in me.”

Then Jesus clarifies, saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.”

Here, Jesus talks about knowing not just in the sense of “amassing data in your cranium.”  He speaks of a relational knowing, the kind of knowing that means you have been affected, moved, shaped, or changed by the other person.

When we personally experience the presence of Christ in our lives, we are strengthened against having our hearts troubled.

But…

The merchants of fear push their catalogs of conspiracy theories.

The peddlers of doom crow about the coming societal collapse.

The salesmen of wrath whip up an angry furor over those traitors and fools on the other side of the political divide (you know who they are…)

Pinnochio's JoyAnd yet Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…. My Father’s house has many rooms …. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”

In other words, the power brokers and pundits do not have the last say, for there is a reality beyond this material world.  It is a spiritual reality that defines us much more than the material reality we get so worked up over.

When we grasp the reality of our spiritual home, secured for us by Christ, we are strengthened against having our hearts troubled.

But….

The nagging voice at the back of our heads accuses us of being frauds.

The challenges we face taunt us with their insurmountability.

Our churches are stymied by stagnation and fear.

And yet Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled….  Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these….”

That means that your spiritual status implies a mission to serve in this material world.  You know Jesus; He has work for you to do.  You have a spiritual home; that reality gives you confidence to work in this world.  Jesus promises that you will do great works, even if they are counted small by the small minds who see only a material reality.

When we grasp the reality that the work Jesus has given us is of great spiritual value and worth, we are strengthened against having our hearts troubled.

So the question is: who are you going to listen to?

Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled….”

Did you find this post encouraging?  You might also be interested in my new book, Geneva Two: A Parable of Christian Community and Calling.  

4 thoughts on “Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled (A Meditation on John 14:1-14)

  1. Thank you, Russell, for the insight about “relational knowing.” Reminds me of the implicit trust of a young child in his strong, reliable Dad. He doesn’t worry because Dad will take care of him. We, too, know whom we have believed. He is able to guard what we’ve entrusted to him for that day when we see him face to face (1 Tim. 1:12). Praise God for his complete reliability!

    • Amen, Nancy. Thanks so much – you offer a great reminder that “Do not let your hearts be troubled” is very much akin to receiving the kingdom of God like a child. Bless you!

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