Sunday, June 25, 2006

"Do not let your heart be troubled"

John 14:1-11

"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
"In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
"If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
"And you know the way where I am going."
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
"If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him."
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'?
"Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.
"Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

What must have been going through the minds of the disciples on this night – this last supper with the Master. It all began with a call, “Follow me”. They had followed – they had left everything behind to follow this man – they had seen the extraordinary signs and wonders – they had seen Jesus feed thousands, heal every sickness and disease, cast out demons, walk on water, calm a raging sea – and even raise the dead to life. They started their journey with someone they thought was a great man, a great teacher – and now, on this night – they knew – they believed with all their heart, that this man, this great teacher, this prophet, was the Son of God, God in flesh - the Christ – the Messiah – the Anointed One that had been promised so long ago.

But it was different than they had expected it. They had originally thought that Jesus would conquer the Romans and free their nation from bondage and that they would reign with Him in a great kingdom after having put down all their foes. But it was different – death was in the air. Jesus had mentioned on several occasions that He would suffer and be killed, but they always pushed it to the back of their minds – I mean, Jesus couldn’t die – could He? He’s the Messiah! He’s God!

But this night – it was becoming clear – all the other times that Jesus had mentioned His soon coming death were coming to a point. Worse than that, one of their group – one of the closest followers – one of His friends will betray Him – will give Him over to the enemy to be killed.

Jesus was going to be leaving them – was this it? Was this the end? Was Jesus truly God in flesh? Was He truly the Messiah that they had all been waiting for?

Peter raises his voice:

John 13:36-38
"Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later."
Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You."
Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.

What do you think Peter felt when these Words left the lips of the Master? He was willing to die for Jesus – and Jesus replies, Really? Would you die for me? Actually, you will cower like a little girl and deny me, not once, not twice, but three times – three times you will say that you do not even know me.

The impact these words must have had on Peter – the crushing feeling that must have overtaken him! The aching that he must have felt in his heart! The sorrow, and the shame…

But now, listen to the Words of Jesus, “Do not let your heart be troubled”

Life is filled with troubles – filled with things that we can worry about – things that scare us, things that depress us, things that make us want to cry, pain that causes us to want to be alone.

What is your trouble this morning? Is something outside of your control – is there something that you’re just not sure how to deal with?

“Do not let your heart be troubled”

There is but one solution to a troubled heart. And Jesus tells that way in this passage. There is only one way to overcome a heart wrought with the pain and disappointment of this life.

The world whispers in our ear that it has the answer – just believe in yourself, they say – you can do it! You don’t need anyone else, you have the power within yourself to overcome any problem – don’t put yourself down – you are the solution! You have the power!

But the world has been deceived by the lord of lies – their solution is no solution at all but leads only to death.

As it says in Jeremiah 17:5
Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD.

But the words of Jesus, the Words of Truth give us the true solution to a troubled heart.

Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”

Belief in God and in His Son Jesus Christ is the one and only solution to a troubled heart. Are you troubled this morning? Believe in God, believe also in Jesus.

Psalms 42:11
Why are you cast down [Why are you depressed], O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me [Why are you upset?]? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God [For I will again give thanks to my God for his saving intervention].

Jesus then gave us three reasons why we should be comforted – three reasons why we should hope in God and give thanks to Him for his saving intervention in our lives.

1. He was going to His Father’s house before them

2. He was going there to prepare a place for them

3. He would come back in person to bring them to heaven

1. He was going to His Father’s house before them

Even though they would see Him beaten, whipped, mocked, bleeding, hung on a cross – even though they would see Him die and laid in a tomb – believe! For after all of this He was going to His Father’s house. To a place where He would be honored above all – where His power is above all – never to suffer and die again – to be clothed in glory with the Father. He says later in chapter 14, If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.”

Be not troubled – for Jesus is King! He reigns in heaven – there is nothing outside of His control! He is above all things – nothing can put a stop to His plans.

“Do not let your heart be troubled”

2. He was going there to prepare a place for them

Not only is Jesus in heaven – but He is there preparing a place for all those who believe in Him – for all His chosen people. If you are afraid that there is no place for you – believe in Him and be troubled no more!

Jesus went to heaven as the forerunner – as the first of many to follow. He made the way clear – He took out all obstacles – not only is the way prepared, but the places for us in heaven – when we arrive, when we die, there is a place for us – specifically for me, just for you! Think of the care of Christ – that He would prepare a mansion just for you, His child. It is enough that we even get to be in the place where He is, but that He is building a mansion for us! He is saving a special place for us! That is beyond comprehension!

He is getting everything ready for you!

“Do not let your heart be troubled”

3. He would come back in person to bring them to heaven

“I will come again”
If nothing else – this should wisp all of the troubles in our hearts away. In the end, He will come and personally take us up. Can you even imagine. He will not send his angels, Jesus – the Son of God – God Himself will come and gather us up and take us to be with Him.

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
Revelation 19:11-16)

This is our King – This is our God – This is our Savior – and He will come for us – NOTHING can get in His way, though the whole world go against Him, He will prevail. He will come – He will come for His own.

"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)

“Do not let your heart be troubled”

There is never a reason for us to be troubled in our heart – if you are – examine yourself – who are you looking to – where is your hope? Seek to believe in God and in Christ – with your whole being – then, as you believe, your heart will be filled with peace because you know what the future holds – for God has spoken and you believe – even though the troubles remain, you will stand un-buffered, your heart will be filled with praise, for you are standing on the Rock – and regardless of how big a storm you encounter in this life – you will be secure – the Rock will save you and secure you.

Our Lord is coming – “Do not let your heart be troubled” – So come Lord Jesus! Amen.

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