Thursday in the Twenty-Eighth Week of Ordinary Time

John 14:27-31

Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

Jesus is going away.  He is going to come back (for just a short time before his ascension), but he is going away.  Yet, he tells his disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  He said the first clause of that verse in the beginning of the chapter when he told them that he was going away to prepare a place for them.  Now he says this because as he goes away, he will leave them with peace.  And he has also spoken previously of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Helper and Comforter, who will be with them and lead them into all truth by reminding them of the words of Jesus, which came directly from the Father.

But Jesus gives them another reason so that their hearts may not be troubled, and it calls for the disciples to exercise great selflessness, and it is simply this: Jesus is going to the Father, and they should rejoice with him for that.  Rejoicing is a great antidote to anxiety, especially rejoicing over heavenly things.  Jesus tells them that, if they truly loved him, they would rejoice that he is returning to his rightful place, that place beside the Father whom he loves in an infinite and eternal way that we will never comprehend, whom he gladly serves at every moment such that he is willing to sacrifice himself in a painful death to bring many sons and daughters to salvation.  We rejoice at the homecoming of a serviceman returning to teary-eyed family members at airports having a sense of the anxiety that poor mother must have endured during the absence of her son.  We should be just as teary-eyed that our Savior returned to his Father, the plan of salvation being accomplished and his painful task complete.  Yes, there is a sense in which the Son in his divine state never left the Father.  But Jesus makes it plain here that he was returning to his Father, implying some kind of “spatial distance” because of his humanity.  Yes, God is omnipresent; yet, we understand that there is a difference between being with God while on earth and being with him in heaven, which we all long for.  It was that immediate presence with the Father (and now with his embodied humanity) that our Lord craved and over which he asked his disciples to rejoice with him.

Jesus mentions that the devil (“ruler of this world”) is coming for him, but he’s not worried.  The devil has no rightful claim on the Sinless One.  He has obeyed everything his Father commanded him, and, as Jesus said, that proves his love for the Father, just as obedience proves our love for them both.  In other words, Jesus asks nothing of us that he hasn’t done himself.  Let not our hearts be troubled; instead rejoice: Jesus has gone to the Father.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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