Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled
The next several devotions will be covering John 14-17. John does not include the institution of the Lord’s Supper but instead gives us these last discourses of Jesus to his disciples, which tell us so much about himself and the Holy Spirit, matters of fundamental doctrine for the Church. Again, we praise the Lord for four gospels and the fullness of teaching they deliver.
Jesus knows that the hearts of his disciples are breaking. They know that he is leaving them, and at this point, that is all that they can bear. By the way, in our society that has so twisted relationships between people of the same sex, we must proclaim loud and clear: THIS IS WHAT MEN LOVING MEN LOOKS LIKE! We have here a band of brothers who have been together for three years, eating and sleeping together, bearing one another’s burdens, lifting one another up, ministering together to a hurting world, and eventually dying for the faith of the One they love even more than, even more than … oh yes, even more than the love of women (2 Samuel 1:26). The hearts of these men are breaking over being separated from this one man, because they love him in that manly way that calls a man to live for and even sacrifice his own life for the sake of that other man. And again, I will say from the rooftops, such is what men loving men looks like.
But I digress; blame it on the society in which we live. Anyway, Jesus begins this long discourse by comforting his disciples: “Let not your hearts be troubled.” Why? “You believe in God; believe also in me.” Throughout this passage, Jesus is going to explain to them once and for all who he is in the plainest and simplest of terms, so that even they cannot miss it. And many of these devotions are going to cover “Who Jesus Is, 101.” But for the moment, Jesus gives them the comfort that – because he is who he is, meaning the Son of the Father, whom he calls them to believe in (that is, himself) – he is going away to prepare a place for them so that when he comes again he will take them with him to that place that they may all be together again, with him. And this is exactly what these men need to here; they need to hear and understand that the separation from their Lord is not permanent, but that one day they will be with him forever.
And this too is our comfort. We are separated from him now, and we long “to depart and be with Christ” (Philippians 1:23). For this world can be downright unfriendly. But he tells us to not be troubled, for he goes to prepare a place for us, and will return to gather us together…forever.