Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled Be Steadfast

VERSE OF THE DAY

John 14:1-3 (New Living Translation)

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“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am

Don’t fear or let your moods be unsettled do not bring troubles upon yourselves. Put trust and faith in God and believe what I say for so you also trust me. My father knew before anyone and accepts everyone there is plenty of room in my father’s home that he may accept you shall you not be overwhelmed by the world but to be accepted in no difference of color, religion, ethnicity for he accepts all accepting everyone as you are. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am for eternity.

I Go to Prepare a Place for You – John 14:1-3

JOHN 14:1-3

Jesus’ Parting Words to His Disciples

“Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God; believe also in me. There are many dwelling places in my Father’s house. Otherwise, I would have told you. I am going away to make ready a place for you. And if I go and make ready a place for you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too.

The three verses we have now read are rich in precious truth. For eighteen centuries they have been peculiarly dear to Christ’s believing servants in every part of the world. Many are the sick rooms which they have lightened! Many are the dying hearts which they have cheered! Let us see what they contain.

We have, first, in this passage a precious remedy against an old disease. That disease is trouble of heart. That remedy is faith.

Heart-trouble is the commonest thing in the world. No rank, or class, or condition is exempt from it. No bars, or bolts, or locks can keep it out. Partly from inward causes and partly from outward causes–partly from the body and partly from the mind–partly from what we love and partly from what we fear, the journey of life is full of trouble. Even the best of Christians have many bitter cups to drink between grace and glory. Even the holiest saints find the world a valley of tears.

Faith in the Lord Jesus is the only sure medicine for troubled hearts. To believe more thoroughly, trust more entirely, rest more unreservedly, lay hold more firmly, lean back more completely–this is the prescription which our Master urges on the attention of all His disciples. No doubt the members of that little band which sat round the table at the last supper, had believed already. They had proved the reality of their faith by giving up everything for Christ’s sake. Yet what does their Lord say to them here? Once more He presses on them the old lesson, the lesson with which they first began–“Believe! Believe more! Believe on Me!” (Isaiah. 26:3.)

Never let us forget that there are degrees in faith, and that there is a wide difference between weak and strong believers. The weakest faith is enough to give a man a saving interest in Christ, and ought not to be despised, but it will not give a man such inward comfort as a strong faith. Vagueness and dimness of perception are the defect of weak believers. They do not see clearly what they believe and why they believe. In such cases more faith is the one thing needed. Like Peter on the water, they need to look more steadily at Jesus, and less at the waves and wind. Is it not written, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You”? (Isaiah. 26:3.)

We have, secondly, in this passage a very comfortable account of heaven, or the future abode of saints. It is but little that we understand about heaven while we are here in the body, and that little is generally taught us in the Bible by negatives much more than positives. But here, at any rate, there are some plain things.

Heaven is “a Father’s house,”–the house of that God of whom Jesus says, “I go to my Father, and your Father.” It is, in a word, HOME–the home of Christ and Christians. This is a sweet and touching expression. Home, as we all know, is the place where we are generally loved for our own sakes, and not for our gifts or possessions; the place where we are loved to the end, never forgotten, and always welcome. This is one idea of heaven. Believers are in a strange land, and at school, in this life. In the life to come they will be at home.

Heaven is a place of “MANSIONS”–of lasting, permanent, and eternal dwellings. Here in the body we are in temporary lodgings, tents, and tabernacles, and must submit to many changes. In heaven we shall be settled at last, and go out no more. “Here we have no continuing city.” (Heb. 13:14.) Our house not made with hands shall never be taken down.

Heaven is a place of “MANY mansions.” There will be room for all believers and room for all sorts, for little saints as well as great ones, for the weakest believer as well as for the strongest. The feeblest child of God need not fear there will be no place for him. None will be shut out but impenitent sinners and obstinate unbelievers.

Heaven is a place where CHRIST HIMSELF SHALL BE PRESENT. He will not be content to dwell without His people–“Where I am, there you shall be also.” We need not think that we shall be alone and neglected. Our Savior–our elder Brother–our Redeemer, who loved us and gave Himself for us, shall be in the midst of us forever. What we shall see, and whom we shall see in heaven, we cannot fully conceive yet, while we are in the body. But one thing is certain–we shall see Christ.

Let these things sink down into our minds. To the worldly and careless they may seem nothing at all. To all who feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of God they are full of unspeakable comfort. If we hope to be in heaven it is pleasant to know what heaven is like.

We have, lastly, in this passage a solid ground for expecting good things to come.The evil heart of unbelief within us is apt to rob us of our comfort about heaven. “We wish we could think it was all true.” “We fear we shall never be admitted into heaven.” Let us hear what Jesus says to encourage us.

One cheering word is this–“I go to PREPARE a place for you.” Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people–a place which we shall find Christ Himself has made ready for true Christians. He has prepared it by procuring a right for every sinner who believes to enter in. None can stop us, and say we have no business there. He has prepared it by going before us as our Head and Representative, and taking possession of it for all the members of His mystical body. As our Forerunner He has marched in, leading captivity captive, and has planted His banner in the land of glory. He has prepared it by carrying our names with Him as our High Priest into the holy of holies, and making angels ready to receive us. Those who enter heaven will find they are neither unknown nor unexpected.

Another cheering word is this–“I will come again and receive you unto myself.” Christ will not wait for believers to come up to Him, but will come down to them, to raise them from their graves and escort them to their heavenly home. As Joseph came to meet Jacob, so will Jesus come to call His people together and guide them to their inheritance. The second advent ought never to be forgotten. Great is the blessedness of looking back to Christ coming the first time to suffer for us, but no less great is the comfort of looking forward to Christ coming the second time, to raise and reward His saints.

Let us leave the whole passage with solemnized feelings and serious self-examination. How much they miss who live in a dying world and yet know nothing of God as their Father and Christ as their Savior! How much they possess who live the life of faith in the Son of God, and believe in Jesus! With all their weaknesses and crosses they have that which the world can neither give nor take away. They have a true Friend while they live, and a true home when they die.

Technical Notes:

1.   Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2. In my father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1.–[Let not…troubled.] We must carefully remember that there is no break between the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th chapters. Our Lord is continuing the discourse He began after the Lord’s Supper and the departure of Judas, in the presence of the eleven faithful disciples. A slight pause there certainly seems to be, since He turns from Peter (to whom He had been speaking individually) to the whole body of the Apostles and addresses them collectively. But the place, the time, and the audience are all one.

Our Lord’s great object throughout this and the two following chapters seems clear and plain. He desired to comfort, establish, and build up His downcast disciples. He saw their “hearts were troubled” from a variety of causes—partly by seeing their Master “troubled in Spirit” (13:21), partly by hearing that one of them should betray Him, partly by the mysterious departure of Judas, partly by their Master’s announcement that He should only be a little time longer with them and that at last they could not come with Him, and partly by the warning addressed to Peter that he would deny His Master three times. For all these reasons this little company of weak believers was disquieted and cast down and anxious. Their gracious Master saw it and proceeded to give them encouragement: “Let not your heart be troubled.” It will be noted that He uses the singular number “your heart,” not “your hearts.” He means “the heart of any one of you.” Hengstenberg gives the following list of the grounds of comfort which the chapter contains, in systematic order, which well deserves attention.

(a) The first encouragement is: to the disciples of Christ heaven is sure (v.2,3).

(b) The second encouragement is: disciples in Christ have a certain way to heaven (v.4-11).

(c) The third encouragement is: disciples need not fear that with the departure of Christ His work will cease (v.12-14).

(d) The fourth encouragement is: in the absence of Christ disciples will have the help of the Spirit (v.15-17).

(e) The fifth encouragement is: Christ will not leave His people forever, but will come back again (v.18-24).

(f) The sixth encouragement is: the Spirit will teach the disciples and supply their lack of understanding when left alone (v.25,26). 

(g) Finally, the seventh encouragement is: the legacy of peace will be left to cheer them in their Master’s absence (v.27). These seven points are well worthy the attention of all believers in every age and are as useful now as when first pressed on the eleven.

Lightfoot thinks one principal cause of the disciples’ trouble was their disappointment at seeing their Jewish expectations of a temporal kingdom under a temporal Messiah failing and coming to an end. 

[Ye believe in God, believe also in me.] The Gospel words rendered “Ye believe” and “believe” in this place admit of being differently translated, and it is impossible to say certainly whether our English version is right.  Some, as Luther, think both words should be indicative: “ye believe and ye believe.” Some think both should be imperative: “believe and believe.” My own opinion is decided that the English version is right. It seems to me to express exactly the state of mind in which the disciples were. They did, as pious Jews, believe in God already. They needed, as young Christians, to be taught to believe more thoroughly in Christ.  Among those who think that both verbs are imperative are Cyril, Augustine, Lampe, Stier, Hengstenberg, and Alford. Among those who adhere to our English version and make the first “believe” indicative and the second imperative, are Erasmus, Beza, Grotius, and Olshausen.  Let us note that faith, and specially more strong and distinct faith in Christ, is the truest remedy for trouble of heart. But we must never forget that true faith admits of growth and degrees. There is a wide gulf between little and great faith.

Ferus remarks that our Lord does not say “Believe my divinity,” but “Believe personally in Me.” Toletus observes that our Lord here teaches that Jewish faith was somewhat distinct from Christian faith. The Jew, not seeing clearly the Trinity, dwelt chiefly on the unity of God. The Christian was intended to see three Persons in the Godhead.

Wordsworth remarks that the verb “to believe” followed by a preposition and an accusative, is never applied to any but God in the New Testament. 

2.–[In my Father’s house.] This phrase can bear only one meaning. It is my Father’s house in Heaven—an expression accomodated to our weakness.  God needs no literal house with walls and roof, as we do. But where He dwells is called His house. (See Deut. 26:15, Ps. 33:14, 2 Chr. 38:27, 2 Cor. 5:1.) There is something very touching and comforting in the thought that the heaven we go to is “our Father’s house.” It is home. 

[Are many mansions.] The word rendered “mansions” means literally “abiding-places.” It is only used here, and in the 23rd verse of this chapter, “abode.” We need not doubt that there is an intentional contrast between the unchanging, unvarying house in heaven and the changing, uncertain dwellings of this world. Here we are ever moving; there we shall no more go out. (See also Heb. 13:14.)

Our Lord’s intention seems to be to comfort His disciples by the thought that nothing could cast them out of the heavenly house. They might be left alone by Him on earth; they might be even cast out of the Jewish Church and find no resting place or refuge on earth. But there would be always room enough for them in heaven and a house from which they would never be expelled. “Fear not. There is room enough in heaven.” Chrysostom, Augustine, and several other ancient writers think the “many mansions” mean the degrees of glory. But the argument in favor of the idea does not appear to me satisfactory. Bishop Bull, Wordsworth, and some few modern writers take the same view. That there are degrees of glory in heaven is undoubtedly true, but I do not think it is the truth of this text.

The modern idea that our Lord meant that heaven was a place for all sorts of creeds and religions seems utterly unwarranted by the text. From the whole context He is evidently speaking for the special comfort of Christians.

Lightfoot’s idea, that our Lord meant to teach the passing away of the Jewish economy and the admission of all nations into heaven by faith in Christ, seems fanciful.

[If it were not so…you.] This is a gracious way of assuring the disciples that they might have confidence that what their Lord said was true. It is the tender manner of a parent speaking to a child. “Do not be afraid because I am leaving you. There is plenty of room for you in heaven. You will get there safe at last. If there was the least uncertainty about it, I would tell you.” We may remember that our Lord called the Apostles “little children” only a few minutes before (John 13:33).

[I go to prepare a place for you.] This sentence is meant to be another ground of comfort. One of the reasons why our Lord went away, He says, was to get ready a dwelling place for His disciples. It is like the expression in Hebrews, “the forerunner.” (Heb. 6:20; see also Num. 10:33.) The manner in which Christ prepares a place for His people is mysterious and yet not inexplicable. He enters heaven as their High Priest, presenting the merit of his sacrifice for their sins. He removes all barriers that sin made between them and God. He appears as their proxy and representative and claims a right of entry for all His believing members.  He intercedes continually for them at God’s right hand and makes them always acceptable in Himself, though unworthy in themselves. He bears their names mystically, as the High Priest, on His breast and introduces them to the court of heaven before they get there.  That heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people is a very cheering and animating thought. When we arrive there we shall not be in a strange land. We shall find we have been known and thought of before we got there.

3.–[And if I go…receive you to myself.] These words contain another strong consolation. Our Lord tells the disciples that if He does go away, they must not think it is forever. He means to come again and take them all home and gather them round Him in one united family, to part no more.  Poole remarks: “The particle ‘if’ in this place denotes no uncertainty of the thing but has the force of ‘although’ or ‘after that.’” (See also Col.  3:1.)

Many think, as Stier, that the “coming again” here spoken of means Christ’s coming to His disciples after His resurrection, or Christ’s coming spiritually to His people in comfort and help even now, or Christ’s coming to remove them at last by death. I cannot think so. I believe that, as a rule, when Christ speaks of coming again both here and elsewhere, He means His own personal second advent at the end of the dispensation. The Greek word rendered “I will come” is in the present tense and the same that is used in Rev. 22:20: “I come quickly.” The first and second advents are the two great events to which the minds of all Christians should be directed.  This is Cyril’s view of the passage and Bishop Hall’s.  [That where I am, there ye may be also.] Here is one more comfort. The final end of Christ’s going away and coming again is that at last His disciples may be once more with Him and enjoy His company forever. “We part; but we shall meet again and part no more.” Let us note that one of the simplest, plainest ideas of heaven is here. It is being “ever with the Lord.” Whatever else we see or do not see in heaven, we shall see Christ. Whatever kind of a place, it is a place where Christ is. (Phil. 1:23, 1 Thess. 4:17.)

From Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (eBook) by J. C. Ryle

JOHN 14 – THE DEPARTING JESUS

Videos for John 14:

John 14:1-14 – Prepared for Departure

John 14:15-31 – Prepared for the Spirit

A. Calming troubled hearts with trust and hope in Jesus.

1. (1) A command to calm the troubled heart.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”

a. Let not your heart be troubled: The disciples had reason to be troubled. Jesus had just told them that one of them was a traitor, that all of them would deny Him, and that He would leave them that night. All of this would legitimately trouble the disciples, yet Jesus told them, let not your heart be troubled.

i. Jesus never wanted us to have life without trouble, but He promised that we could have an untroubled heart even in a troubled life.

ii. This was in some sense a command. “The form of the imperative me tarassestho implies that they should ‘stop being troubled.’ ‘Set your heart at ease’ would be a good translation.” (Tenney)

iii. Jesus didn’t say, “I’m happy you men are troubled and filled with doubts. You’re doubts are wonderful.” “He takes no delight in the doubt and disquietude of his people. When he saw that because of what he had said to them sorrow had filled the hearts of his apostles, he pleaded with them in great love, and besought them to be comforted.” (Spurgeon)

iv. “His disciples felt His departure like a torture. And it was then that He consoled them with such simple and glorious speech that all Christendom is the debtor to their agony.” (Morrison)

b. You believe in God, believe also in Me: Instead of giving in to a troubled heart, Jesus told them to firmly put their trust in God and in Jesus Himself. This was a radical call to trust in Jesus just as one would trust in God the Father, and a radical promise that doing so would bring comfort and peace to a troubled heart.

i. “What signalizes Him, and separates Him from all other religious teachers, is not the clearness or the tenderness with which He reiterated the truths about the Father’s love, or about morality, and justice, and truth, and goodness; but the peculiarity of His call to the world is, ‘Believe in Me.’” (Maclaren)

ii. “One who seems a man asks all men to give Him precisely the same faith and confidence that they give to God.” (Meyer)

iii. There is some debate as how the verb tenses of this verse should be regarded. It is possible that Jesus meant, You must believe in God, you must also believe in Me (imperative) or it is possible that He meant, You do believe in God, you also do believe in Me (indicative). On balance, the best evidence seems to be that Jesus meant this as a command or an instruction to the disciples.

· “The verb believe both times is imperative.” (Alford)

· “In view of the preceding imperative it is in my judgment best to take both forms as imperative. Jesus is urging His followers to continue to believe in the Father and to continue to believe also in Him.” (Morris)

iv. “Jesus’ solution to perplexity is not a recipe; it is a relationship with him.” (Tenney)

2. (2-4) Reasons for calming the troubled heart: a future reunion in the Father’s house.

“In My Father’s 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

a. In My Father’s house are many mansions: Jesus spoke with complete confidence about heaven, here spoken of as His Father’s house. Jesus didn’t wonder about the life beyond this earth; He knew it and told His disciples that there was room for all in heaven (many mansions).

i. “Plato tells of the last hours of Socrates in prison before he drank the poison….Like Christ, Socrates is going to die. Like Christ, his thoughts run on immortality. He discusses it with his friends, who come to visit him; he speculates, he argues, and he wonders. What a perfect and stupendous contrast between that and the attitude of Christ.” (Morrison)

b. Many mansions: In light of the ancient Greek, mansions is better translated “dwelling places.” The noun mone (connected to the verb meno, “stay” or “remain”) means “a place to stay.” In light of God’s nature, it is better to translate it mansions. Whatever dwelling place God has for us in heaven, it will be as glorious as a mansion.

i. There will be many such dwelling places. Jesus could see what the disciples never could – millions upon millions, even billions from every tribe, language, nation in His Father’s house. He may have even smiled when He said, many mansions – many indeed!

ii. “Mansions, monai, came into the AV and RV through the influence of the Vulgate mansions, which can mean ‘stations’ or ‘temporary lodgings’ where travellers may rest at different stages in their journey. In the light of this, many scholars, especially Westcott and Temple, following Origen, assume that the conception of heaven in this passage is that of a state of progress from one stage to another till the final goal is reached. This was not however the interpretation generally given to the word by the ancient Fathers, and by derivation it would seem to denote much more the idea of permanence. It is found once more in the New Testament, in John 14:23, where the permanent dwelling of the Father and the Son in the hearts of loving disciples is stressed.” (Tasker)

c. I go to prepare a place for you: Love prepares a welcome. With love, expectant parents prepare a room for the baby. With love, the hostess prepares for her guests. Jesus prepares a place for His people because He loves them and is confident of their arrival.

i. James Barrie was the man who wrote Peter Pan, among other works. One of his books was about his mother, Margaret Ogilvy, and his growing up in Scotland. His mother endured a lot of misery in life, including the tragic death of one of her sons. According to Morrison, Barrie wrote that his mother’s favorite Bible chapter was John 14. She read it so much that when her Bible was opened and set down, the pages naturally fell open to this place. Barrie said that when she was old and could no longer read these words, she would stoop down to her Bible and kiss the page where the words were printed.

ii. I go speaks of Jesus’ own planning and initiative. He wasn’t taken to the cross; He went there. “They thought that His death was an unforeseen calamity. Christ taught them that it was the path of His own planning.” (Morrison)

d. I will come again to receive you to Myself: Jesus promised to come again for the disciples. This was not only in the sense of His soon resurrection or in the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus also had in mind the great gathering together of His people at the end of the age.

i. “They were not to think of Him as having ceased to be when they could not see Him. He had only gone to another abiding-place to prepare for their coming; and moreover, He would come back to receive them.” (Morgan)

ii. “The reference to the second advent should not be missed. It is true that John does not refer to this as often as do most other New Testament writers, but it is not true that it is missing from his pages.” (Morris)

iii. “This was a very precious promise to the early Church, and Paul may well be echoing it when he informs the Thessalonians ‘by the word of the Lord’ that Jesus will descend from heaven and gather believers unto Himself to be with Him for ever (see 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17).” (Tasker)

e. That where I am, there you may be also: The entire focus of heaven is being united with Jesus. Heaven is heaven not because of streets of gold, or pearly gates, or even the presence of angels. Heaven is heaven because Jesus is there.

i. We take comfort in knowing that even as He prepares a place for us, Jesus also prepares us for that place.

3. (5-6) Jesus is the exclusive way to the Father.

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 except through Me.”

a. Lord, we do not know where You are going: Thomas should be praised for honestly and clearly explaining his confusion. He thought Jesus was simply going to another place, as if it were another city.

i. “Though a necessity of human language compels Jesus to speak of ‘going away’ and of ‘a way to the Father’, these terms have no spatial or material significance.” (Tasker)

ii. “Thus we notice how they speak to him with a natural, easy familiarity; and he talks to them in full sympathy with their weakness, teaching them little by little as they are able to learn. They ask just such questions as a boy might ask of his father. Often they show their ignorance, but never do they seem timid in his presence, or ashamed to let him see how shallow and hard of understanding they are.” (Spurgeon)

b. I am the way, the truth, and the life: Jesus didn’t say that He would show us a way; He said that He is the way. He didn’t promise to teach us a truth; He said that He is the truth. Jesus didn’t offer us the secrets to life; He said that He is the life.

· I’m wandering about; I don’t know where I’m going. Jesus is the way.

· I’m confused; I don’t know what to think. Jesus is the truth.

· I’m dead inside and don’t know if I can go on. Jesus is the life.

i. In light of soon events, this declaration was a paradox. Jesus’ way would be the cross; He would be convicted by blatant liars; His body would soon lie lifeless in a tomb. Because He took that way, He is the way to God; because He did not contest the lies we can believe He is the truth; because He was willing to die He becomes the channel of resurrection – the life to us.

ii. “Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou must follow; the truth in which thou must believe; the life for which thou must hope.” (a’ Kempis, cited by Bruce)

c. No one comes to the Father except through Me: Jesus made this remarkable statement, claiming that He was the only way to God. In this He set aside the temple and its rituals, as well as other religions. It was a claim to have an exclusive way, truth, and life – the only pathway to God the Father, the true God in heaven.

i. Understood plainly, this was one of the more controversial things Jesus said and the Gospel writers recorded. Many people don’t mind saying that Jesus is one legitimate way to God, but other religions and even individuals have their own legitimate ways to God. Many think it isn’t fair for God to make only one way.

ii. Nevertheless, this is a consistent theme in the Bible. The Ten Commandments begin, I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me (Exodus 20:2-3). Throughout the Old Testament God denounced and mocked the supposed gods others worshipped (Isaiah 41:21-29; 1 Kings 18:19-40). The Bible consistently presents One True God, and Jesus is consistently presented as the only true way to the One True God.

d. No one comes to the Father except through Me: Simply put, if Jesus is not the only way to God, then He is not any way to God. If there are many roads to God, then Jesus is not one of them, because He absolutely claimed there was only one road to God, and He Himself was that road. If Jesus is not the only way to God, then He was not a honest man; He was most certainly not a true prophet. He then would either be a madman or a lying devil. There is no middle ground available.

i. Sometimes people object and say, “I believe Jesus was an honest man, and I believe He was a true prophet. But I don’t actually believe He said those things about Himself in the Gospels. I believe Christians added those things in later on all by themselves.” But there is no objective reason for a person to make a distinction between “Jesus really said this” or “Jesus really didn’t say that.” We have no ancient texts showing us just the supposedly true sayings of Jesus. Any such distinction is based purely on subjective reasons – “I personally don’t think Jesus would have said that, therefore He did not say that – later Christians only put those words in His mouth.”

ii. If it is all up to personal opinion – if we can determine what Jesus said or didn’t say on our own whims – then we should reject the Gospels completely. It really is an all-or-nothing deal. Either we take the words of Jesus as recorded by these historically reliable and accurate documents, or we reject them completely.

iii. But is Christianity bigoted? Certainly, there are some who claim to be Christians who are in fact bigots. But Biblical Christianity is the most pluralistic, tolerant, embracing of other cultures religion on earth. Christianity is the one religion to embrace other cultures, and has the most urgency to translate the Scriptures into other languages. A Christian can keep their native language and culture, and follow Jesus in the midst of it. An early criticism of Christianity was the observation that they would take anybody! Slave or free; rich or poor; man or woman; Greek or Barbarian. All were accepted, but on the common ground of the truth as revealed in Jesus Christ. To leave this common ground in Jesus is spiritual suicide, for both now and eternity.

iv. “If this seems offensively exclusive, let it be borne in mind that the one who makes this claim is the incarnate Word, the revealer of the Father.” (Bruce)

v. The Christian faith will receive anyone who comes through Jesus. Jesus said, through Me: “It is not ‘through believing certain propositions regarding me’ nor ‘through some special kind of faith,’ but ‘through me’.” (Dods)

4. (7-8) Knowing the Father and knowing the Son.

“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

a. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also: Jesus explained why He was the only way to God; because He was and is the perfect representation of God. To know Jesus is to know God.

b. And from now on you know Him and have seen Him: The disciples certainly had learned and known much about God in their three years of apprenticeship under Jesus. Yet Jesus understood that since they had not yet seen the full revelation of God’s love at the cross and His power at the resurrection, there was a sense in which they would only now know and see God.

c. Lord, show us the Father and it is sufficient: Philip had seen and experienced much in following Jesus, but had not yet seen God the Father with his physical eyes. Perhaps he thought that such an experience would bring life-changing assurance and courage.

5. (9-11) Jesus again explains His unity with and dependence on the Father.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.”

a. Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me: This means that Philip had been close to Jesus yet still did not understand Him. The same is possible and true for many today.

b. He who has seen Me has seen the Father: This gentle rebuke reminded Philip of what Jesus often said; that to know Him was to know God the Father. To see the love of Jesus was to see the love of God the Father; seeing Jesus in action was seeing the Father in action.

i. “It is difficult to interpret it without seeing the Father and the Son as in some sense one. These are words which no mere man has a right to use.” (Morris)

ii. He who has seen Me has seen the Father: “No material image or likeness can adequately depict God. Only a person can give knowledge of him since personality cannot be represented by an impersonal object.” (Tenney) This forever finishes the idea that the Hebrew Scriptures present a cruel God and Jesus showed us a nicer God. Rather, Jesus shows us the same love, compassion, mercy, and goodness that was and is in God the Father. Exodus 34:5-9, among other passages, shows this nature of God the Father in the Old Testament.

iii. He who has seen Me has seen the Father: “Could any creature say these words? Do they not evidently imply that Christ declared himself to his disciples to be the everlasting God?” (Clarke)

c. The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority: Jesus repeated something emphasized in the Gospel of John; that Jesus lived and spoke in constant dependence upon God the Father and did nothing outside His authority and guidance (John 5:19, 8:28).

d. Believe Me… or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves: Jesus presented two solid foundations for our trust in Him. We can believe Jesus simply because of His person and words, or we can also believe Him for the sake of the works that He miraculously did.

i. The Father who dwells in Me does the works: “We are not only one in nature, but one also in operation. The works which I have done bear witness of the infinite perfection of my nature. Such miracles as I have wrought could only be performed by unlimited power.” (Clarke)

ii. Believe Me: “Here Jesus calls on Philip and the others (note the change to the plural) to believe Him, not only to believe in Him. Faith includes a recognition that what Jesus says is true.” (Morris)

iii. “Our Saviour allegeth for himself the Divinity both of his word and works. He was mighty, saith Peter, both in word and deed. Ministers also must, in their measure, be able to argue and approve themselves to be men of God, by sound doctrine and good life.” (Trapp)

B. Three assurances for troubled disciples.

1. (12-14) When Jesus departs to the Father, His work will continue on earth.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

a. Most assuredly: Jesus began the first of three assurances given to His disciples on the night of His departure. The first assurance answered their fear, “This is the end. The work is over and we all got fired.” They didn’t get fired; they got promoted, and promoted to greater things.

b. He who believes in Me: Jesus just encouraged the disciples to trust in, rely on, and cling to Him in faith, because of who He is, the words He spoke, and the miracles He has done. Now Jesus described the benefit or blessing that comes to this one who believes.

c. The works I do he will do: Jesus expected those who believe in Him to carry on His work in the world. He did not expect the disciples to disband after His departure, but to carry on His work in even greater magnitude (greater works than these he will do).

i. “The ‘greater works’ of which he now spoke to them would still be his own works; accomplished no longer by his visible presence among them but by his Spirit within them.” (Bruce)

d. Greater works than these he will do: Jesus did not mean greater in the sense of more sensational, but greater in magnitude. Jesus would leave behind a victorious, working family of followers who would spread His kingdom to more people and places than Jesus ever did in His life and ministry.

i. This promise seems impossible; yet after Peter’s first sermon there were more converted than are recorded during Jesus’ entire ministry.

ii. “The literal rendering of the word translated by av greater works is ‘greater things’; and probably this should be retained. The works of the apostles after the resurrection were not greater in kind than those of Jesus, but greater in the sphere of their influence.” (Tasker)

iii. “The word ‘works’ does not actually occur. There is no word at that point, so our best translation would be ‘and greater things.’ The point is that Christians will do something greater even than the works of Jesus.” (Boice)

iv. “What Jesus means we may see in the narratives of the Acts. There are a few miracles of healing, but the emphasis is on the mighty works of conversion. On the day of Pentecost alone more believers were added to the little band of believers than throughout Christ’s entire earthly life. There we see a literal fulfillment of ‘greater works than these shall he do.’” (Morris)

v. William Barclay considered the difficulty of taking this to mean that Jesus intended His followers to do more miracles and more impressive miracles than He Himself did: “Though it could be said that the early Church did the things which Jesus did, it certainly could not be said that it did greater things than he did.” (Barclay)

vi. There are some who believe that Jesus meant that individual believers can and should do more spectacular works than Jesus did in the years of His earthly ministry. We earnestly await proof of those who have repeatedly done greater works than walking on water, calming storms with a word, multiplying food for thousands, raising people from the dead (more than the three recorded in Jesus’ work). Even if it were proved that one person after Jesus had done such things, it still does not explain why there are not now or have been thousands of people who have fulfilled this wrong and sometimes dangerous understanding of what Jesus meant when He said, greater works than these he will do.

e. Because I go to My Father: Jesus would soon explain that when He ascended to heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 15:7-9, 15:13). It was because Jesus went to the Father that the Holy Spirit came upon His people, enabling them to do these greater works.

i. “The reason why you shall do these greater works is, on account of the all-powerful Spirit of grace and supplication which My going to the Father shall bring down upon the Church.” (Alford)

f. Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do: Jesus further explained how greater works would be possible for His followers. It would be possible because Jesus would do His work through His prayerful people, who asked and acted in His name. He promised to do anything that His trusting followers asked for in His name; that is, according to His character and authority.

i. In My name is not a magic incantation of prayer; it speaks of both an endorsement (like a bank check) and a limitation (requests must be in accordance with the character of the name). We come to God in Jesus’ name, not in our own.

ii. “The test of any prayer is: Can I make it in the name of Jesus? No man, for instance, could pray for personal revenge, for personal ambition, for some unworthy and unchristian object in the name of Jesus.” (Barclay)

iii. “To ask ‘in His name’ or do anything ‘in His name’ argues a unity of mind with His, a unity of aim and of motive.” (Trench)

g. That the Father may be glorified in the Son: These greater works Jesus promised would bring glory to both the Father and the Son. Prayers prayed with a passion for the glory of Jesus and God the Father will truly be in the name of Jesus and be the kind of prayer God will answer.

2. (15-17) When Jesus departs, He will send the Holy Spirit.

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

a. If you love Me, keep My commandments: Jesus had just demonstrated His remarkable love to the disciples by washing their feet (John 13:1-5). He told them what their loving response should be; to keep His commandments.

· He commanded them to wash one another’s feet, after the example He just displayed (John 13:14-15).

· He commanded them to love one another after the pattern of His love to them (John 13:34).

· He commanded them to put their faith in God the Father and in Jesus Himself (John 14:1).

i. Keeping the commandments of Jesus does speak to our personal morality, yet His emphasis was on love for others and faith in Him as demonstrations of obedience to His commandments.

ii. This is a fair measure of our love for Jesus. It is easy to think of loving Jesus in merely sentimental or emotional terms. It is wonderful when our love for Jesus has sentiment and passion, but it must always be connected to keeping His commandments, or it isn’t love at all.

iii. For the believer, disobedience is not only a failure of performance or a failure of strength. In some sense, it is also a failure of love. Those who love God most obey Him most joyfully and naturally. To say, “I really love Jesus. I just don’t want Him to tell me how to live my life” is a terrible misunderstanding of both Jesus and love to Him.

iv. Jesus also spoke to the proper source of our obedience. It isn’t fear, pride, or desire to earn blessing. The proper source of obedience is love. “Obedience must have love for its mother, nurse, and food. The essence of obedience lies in the hearty love which prompts the deed rather than in the deed itself.” (Spurgeon)

v. “Some persons think that if they love Jesus, they must enter a convent, retire to a cell, dress themselves queerly, or shave their heads. It has been the thought of some men, ‘If we love Christ we must strip ourselves of everything we possess, put on sackcloth, tie ropes round our waists, and pine in the desert.’ Others have thought it wise to make light of themselves by oddity of dress and behavior. The Savior does not say anything of the kind; but, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’” (Spurgeon)

b. I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper: This was the second in this series of three assurances. The disciples feared, “Jesus is abandoning us. When He leaves we won’t know what to do.” They wouldn’t have less help; they would have more help because the Father would send another Helper.

i. Jesus understood that His disciples (both those with Him on that evening and those across the centuries) would need God’s presence and power to keep His commandments. God the Son promised to pray to God the Father and ask for the giving of God the Holy Spirit to the believer to accomplish this.

ii. This statement is one wonderful example of the Trinitarian idea of God woven into the fabric of the New Testament. Jesus didn’t intend to give a complicated lecture on the Trinity; He simply spoke of how the Persons of the Trinity interact and work for the good of God’s people and the furtherance of His plan.

iii. The sense is that this prayer would be made when Jesus ascended to heaven. “I will pray betokens, probably, a manner of asking implying actual presence and nearness, — and is here used of the mediatorial office in Christ’s ascended state.” (Alford)

c. He will give you another Helper: The word Helper translates the ancient Greek word parakletos. This word has the idea of someone called to help someone else, and it could refer to an advisor, a legal defender, a mediator, or to an intercessor.

i. The King James Version translates parakletos with the word Comforter. That translation made more sense understanding the meaning of the word in older English. “Wicliff, from whom we have our word Comforter, often used ‘comfort’ for the Latin confortari, which means to strengthen… Thus the idea of help and strength is conveyed by it, as well as of consolation.” (Alford)

ii. One way to understand the work of the Helper is to understand the opposite of that work. “The devil is called the accuser, κατηγορος, in full opposition to this name and title given here to the Holy Spirit.” (Trapp)

iii. Another Helper: The word another is the ancient Greek word allen, meaning “another of the same kind” (Tenney) in contrast to another of a different kind. Just as Jesus shows the nature of God the Father, so the Holy Spirit – being another of the same kind – would show the nature of Jesus.

iv. “That our Lord here calls the Holy Spirit ‘another Comforter (allon paraklhtoV)’ implies that He Himself claimed to be also a paraklhtoV, as John in his first epistle (1 John 2:1) calls Him.” (Trench)

v. It would be wonderful to live the Christian life with Jesus beside us each step of the way. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would fulfill just that role for us, being sent to empower and help the believer. The greater work described in John 14:12-14 is impossible without the empowering described in John 14:15-18.

d. That He may abide with you forever: Jesus would give the Holy Spirit so that He (indicating a person, not a thing) may abide in us permanently and not temporarily, as in giving of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.

i. “The Advocate will be with the disciples ‘for ever’. The new state of affairs will be permanent. The Spirit once given will not be withdrawn.” (Morris)

e. Whom the world cannot receive: The world cannot understand or receive the Spirit, because He is Holy and true. The Spirit of truth is not popular in an age of lies, and the world cannot perceive the Spirit and does not know Him.

i. “If the world cannot receive the Holy Spirit, shall we wonder that we in our collective worldliness see and show collectively so little of His power?” (Trench)

f. But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you: Jesus spoke of three aspects of a disciple’s relationship to the Holy Spirit.

· In contrast to the world, the disciple of Jesus should know the Holy Spirit.

· In contrast to the world, the disciple of Jesus should have the Holy Spirit with them.

· In contrast to the world, the disciple of Jesus should have the Holy Spirit in them.

i. For those 11 disciples, the Holy Spirit was already with them, and would later be in them. This was fulfilled when Jesus breathed on them and they received the Holy Spirit, when they were regenerated and born again (John 20:22).

ii. In addition to with and in, Jesus used a third preposition to describe the relationship of the disciple to the Holy Spirit: you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (Acts 1:8). This upon experience is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the outpouring of the Spirit.

iii. “Between Christ on earth and his disciples what a distance there was! In his condescension he came very near to them; but yet you always perceive a gulf between the wise Master and the foolish disciples. Now the Holy Ghost annihilates that distance by dwelling in us.” (Spurgeon)

3. (18-21) When Jesus departs, He will make Himself known to His disciples.

“I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

a. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you: Jesus began His third assurance. The disciples feared, “When Jesus leaves, then our discipleship program is over and it has barely started.” Their discipleship program wasn’t finished; it was only just beginning.

i. “The disciples of a particular teacher among the Hebrews called him father; his scholars were called his children, and, on his death, were considered as orphans.” (Clarke)

ii. Spurgeon considered several ways that the followers of Jesus are not like orphans.

· An orphan has parents who are dead; the Spirit shows us Jesus is alive.

· An orphan is left alone; the Spirit draws us close to God’s presence.

· An orphan has lost their provider; the Spirit provides all things.

· An orphan is left without instruction; the Spirit teaches us all things.

· An orphan has no defender; the Spirit is protector.

b. I will come to you: Jesus again promised to come to the disciples (previously in John 14: 3). This was a broad promise fulfilled by His resurrection, by the sending of the Spirit, and by the promise of His bodily return to this earth.

i. “Every phase of his promised coming is embraced in this assurance: ‘I am coming to you.’” (Bruce)

c. The world will see Me no more, but you will see Me: This was true in one sense when Jesus rose from the dead. Yet it is true even when He ascended to heaven. Jesus would reveal Himself to the disciples in a real and powerful way after His departure. They would see Him in an even greater way than seeing Him with physical sight.

i. The Apostle Paul later wrote, Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer (2 Corinthians 5:16). There was something more compelling about knowing Jesus by the Spirit than even knowing Him in the flesh.

d. Because I live, you will live also: The disciples would not only see Jesus by the Spirit, they would also continue to live in Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. Their dependence on the life of Jesus would not end when He departed; it would continue in greater measure through the Holy Spirit.

i. “A man is saved because Christ died for him, he continues saved because Christ lives for him. The sole reason why the spiritual life abides is because Jesus lives.” (Spurgeon)

e. You will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you: Through the Holy Spirit they would know a life of relationship, shared life, and union with God the Father, God the Son, and in the disciple.

· This union is marked by knowledge of God’s will (has My commandments).

· This union is marked by obedience to God’s will (and keeps them).

· This union is marked by love (is he who loves me).

· This union is marked by relationship and reception of love with God the Father (will be loved by My Father).

· This union is marked by a revelation of Jesus Himself (and manifest Myself to him).

· All this flows from the union with God in the disciple through the Holy Spirit.

i. This relationship is for the disciple’s experience now, not only in the age to come. “For he reserves not all for the life to come, but gives a grape of Canaan in this wilderness, such as the world never tasted of.” (Trapp)

ii. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me: “The love to which Christ promises a manifestation of Himself is not an idle sentiment or shallow fancy, but a principle prompting obedience.” (Dods)

iii. He who has My commandments: “The man who loves Christ is the one who ‘has’ His commandments and keeps them. To ‘have’ commandments is an unusual expression and does not seem to be exactly paralleled (though cf. 1 John 4:21). The meaning appears to be to make the commandments one’s own, to take them into one’s inner being.” (Morris)

4. (22-24) Answering the question of Judas (not Iscariot).

Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”

a. How is it that You will manifest Yourself to us: Judas asked an excellent question. The idea of manifest is to reveal, to make plain. It wasn’t immediately apparent how in His departure Jesus could reveal Himself to His disciples and not to the world at large.

i. Judas had heard Jesus teach that all the earth would see the Messiah in His glory (Matthew 24:30). It was hard for him to understand Jesus when He now spoke of a revealing of Himself that the world would not see.

ii. “Judas is called ‘Judas of James’ in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13; and on each occasion AV translates ‘the brother of James’, and RV and RSV, more naturally, ‘the son of James’. He seems to be identical with the Thaddaeus of Matthew 10:3 and Mark 3:18. Some of the apostles clearly had more than one name.” (Tasker)

iii. “The words not Iscariot are in reality superfluous, after John 13:30, but are added by St. John from his deep horror of the Traitor who bore the same name.” (Alford)

b. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: In answering Judas, Jesus repeated the themes from the previous verses. Jesus would be revealed to and among the disciples through love, obedience, and union with the Father and the Son. These were not and are not primarily mystical or ecstatic experiences, but real life lived out in the presence and work of the Holy Spirit.

· The love is personal; Jesus said, if anyone loves Me.

· The love has a reverent regard for the teaching of Jesus; Jesus said, he will keep My word.

i. He will keep My word: “That is more than a ‘commandment,’ is it not? Christ’s ‘word’ is more than precept. It includes all His sayings, and it includes them all as in one vital unity and organic whole. We are not to go picking and choosing among them; they are one.” (Maclaren)

ii. We will come to him and make Our home with him: “Where love and obedience are shown, the presence of God and of Christ is realized; the Father and the Son together make their home with each of the children.” (Bruce)

c. The word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me: Jesus again emphasized His total reliance upon and submission to God the Father. Jesus openly stated both His equality with the Father (John 14:1, 14:3, 14:7, 14:9).

C. As Jesus departs, He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit and His peace.

1. (25-27) The departing Jesus leaves the gifts of the Holy Spirit and His peace.

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

a. The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name: Jesus first mentioned the Helper in John 14:16. He returned to the wonderful promise that as He left them with His physical presence, Jesus would ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to help His disciples.

i. Will send in My name: The Holy Spirit is sent to the disciples on the merits of Jesus and in the nature, the character of Jesus. “The Spirit would be Jesus’ officially designated representative to act in his behalf.” (Tenney)

· The disciple does not have to ask for the Spirit on his or her own merit; they can receive Him in the merit of Jesus.

· The disciple should expect that the work of the Spirit would look like the nature and character of Jesus as revealed in God’s Word.

ii. This is another wonderful example of the truth of the Trinity woven into the fabric of the New Testament. God the Father sends God the Holy Spirit at the request of God the Son.

iii. The Holy Spirit: “This characteristic designation, found throughout the New Testament, does not draw attention to the power of the Spirit, His greatness, or the like. For the first Christians the important thing was that He is holy.” (Morris)

b. He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you: In His departure, Jesus finished His direct work of teaching the disciples as a rabbi taught disciples. Their training was not finished, but would be continued by the Helper, the Holy Spirit.

i. The Holy Spirit would teach the disciples what more they needed to know and would also supernaturally bring to remembrance the words of Jesus, both for their own benefit and for the writing of the Gospels.

ii. This means that the work of the Spirit would be a work of continuation. His teaching would continue what Jesus already taught. The Spirit does not wipe clear the previous teaching of Jesus and begin again. “The Spirit will not dispense with the teachings of Jesus. The teaching to be recalled is His.” (Morris)

iii. There is something general in this promise for every believer. The Holy Spirit teaches us and brings God’s word to our remembrance (if we are careful to receive it). Yet the fullness of this promise was reserved for those first-generation disciples and apostles, upon whom Jesus established the church (Ephesians 2:20).

iv. “It is on the fulfillment of this promise to the Apostles, that their sufficiency as Witnesses of all that the Lord did and taught, and consequently THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE, is grounded.” (Alford)

c. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: In one sense this was a common thing to say at a departure in that culture, to wish peace (shalom) to others as you left them. Jesus took this normal good-bye and filled it with deep strength and meaning.

i. “It was customary to take leave with wishes of peace: — so 1 Samuel 1:17; Luke 7:50; Acts 16:36; 1 Peter 5:14; 3 John 15.” (Alford) “‘Peace (shalom) be with you’ was (and is) the usual Jewish greeting when friends met and parted.” (Bruce)

ii. Not as the world gives do I give to you: When someone in that ancient culture said peace as they departed, they said it without any special meaning. It was like when we say goodbye. Literally that means, God be with you – but we don’t really mean it that way. Jesus wanted them to know that when He said peace I leave with you, it wasn’t in the casual, empty way that most people said it.

iii. The peace of this world is often based on distraction or deliberate blindness and lies. Jesus offers a better peace, a real peace.

iv. Jesus had no inheritance or fortune to leave to His followers in a last will and testament. Yet Jesus gave them two things greater than any fortune: the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, and the peace of Jesus Himself. This is the peace of God the Son, with His complete trusting love in God the Father.

v. “He carefully described the peace as ‘My peace.’ His peace was a heart untroubled and unfearful in spite of all the suffering and conflict ahead of Him.” (Morgan)

vi. “In the Bible the word for peace, shalom, never means simply the absence of trouble. It means everything which makes for our highest good. The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape, the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble and from refusing to face things.” (Barclay)

d. Let not your heart be troubled: Jesus returned to the theme recorded in the first verse of John 14. With faith in God and His Son, with the receiving of His Spirit and His peace, we can have an untroubled heart in a quite troubled life.

2. (28-29) The goodness of Jesus’ departure to the FatheNot

“You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”

a. If you loved Me, you would rejoice: The disciples were troubled at the news of Jesus’ departure. In faith, they should instead rejoice, for the sake of Jesus, for their own sake, and for the sake of the world. The work of Jesus through the sent Holy Spirit would be greater than His work during the years of His earthly ministry.

· Jesus, when I think of all You gave up, all You took upon Yourself when You came from heaven to earth – it makes me happy that You are going to the Father to have it all restored to You.

· Jesus, when I think of all You will give to me and all Your people when You ascend to glory and from there send forth the Holy Spirit, pray for Your church, and prepare a place for us – it makes me happy that You are going to the Father, also for my sake.

b. Because I said, “I am going to the Father”: We sense a joyful anticipation in Jesus, happy in His soon return to heaven’s fellowship between Father and Son.

c. My Father is greater than I: The Father is greater than the Son in position, especially in regard to the incarnation. Yet the Father is not greater than the Sonin essence or being; They are both equally God.

i. It is remarkable that Jesus should even say this. “That it should require to be explicitly affirmed, as here, is strongest evidence that He was Divine.” (Dods)

3. (30-31) Jesus goes forth willingly, not as one who is being overwhelmed by Satan.

“I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.”

a. The ruler of this world is coming: Jesus knew that Satan was coming for Him. At that moment Judas Iscariot was arranging the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The loving, others-centered calm of Jesus in such circumstances is remarkable.

b. He has nothing in Me: Jesus could confidently and truthfully say that Satan had absolutely no hook, no foothold, no toehold of deception in Him. Satan could not push Jesus to the cross; Jesus went in loving obedience to God the Father and out of love for the world (that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so do I).

i. “Has nothing in Me — no point of appliance whereon to fasten his attack.” (Alford)

ii. “Jesus goes to death not crushed by the machinations of Satan, ‘but that the world may know that I love the Father and as the Father has commanded me.’” (Dods)

c. Arise, let us go from here: At this point, Jesus and His disciples left the table and slowly made their way toward the Garden of Gethsemane. It is clear they did not immediately leave (John 18:1), but here began to.

i. “Anyone who has tried to get a group of a dozen or so to leave a particular place at a particular time will appreciate that it usually takes more than one brief exhortation to accomplish this.” (Morris)

ii. “Probably the rest of the discourse, and the prayer, chapter 17, were delivered when now all were standing ready to depart.” (Alford)

iii. “Whether chapters 15-17 were spoken en route to Gethsemane or whether he and the disciples lingered while he finished the discussion is not plain.” (Tenney)

iv. Notably, they got ready to go together. “One would have thought that on such a night as that, the deepest craving of Jesus would have been to be alone… He could not leave them to go out alone. He loved them far to deeply for that. They might forsake Him, as they were soon to do. It was impossible for Him to forsake them.” (Morrison)

©2018 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Jesus said,] “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”

John 14:1-3

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Related Topics: Jesus, God, Trust, Heaven, Second Coming, All Topics…

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

He’s coming back! As much as the world likes to remember Jesus’ first coming during the Christmas season, we need to remind them that his Second Coming will be even greater. We want to be prepared — lives dedicated to his glory and hearts full of expectation at his coming.

My Prayer…

Loving God, I know Jesus will come again. May I be found faithful and expectant when he returns. Thank you for sending him the first time to live in my world and take away my sin. Thank you even more for his next coming to take me to live in your world and share in your victory over sin. In the name of Jesus my Lord, I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayer on Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to phil@verseoftheday.com.

“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.” (John 14:1 -3)

Our faith in God gives us ultimate security. We may experience all kinds of difficulties and heartaches, we can count on God’s love and our place with him in eternity. With that assurance, our hearts aren’t nearly as troubled.

Having faith is having trust. We have to trust with our entire being that God has our back that he will help us and take care of us. He knows what is best, but to truly embrace what he has planned for us, we have to fully trust. Our trust is not foolish, for our God is both faithful and good. When we put our relationship with God first, setting aside our own desires to serve Him, we “live by faith” and learn what it means to be faithful, self-disciplined, compassionate, forgiving, humble, and loving.

Jesus Christ promised the ultimate security of a home in heaven and the ultimate thrill of being with Him forever.

Categories: Daily Verse

Introduction:

*In this passage, Jesus has finished what is commonly called the Last Supper with His disciples. 

Supper’s now over and He has predicted that one of the disciples is going to betray Him.  And then He identifies that disciple as Judas Iscariot and He sends him on his wicked task. 

Now Jesus begins to talk to His disciples and (John 13:33) he says “Little children, I am with you a little while longer.  You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come ” (John 13:33)

Jesus went on to say “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn13:34-35)

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However, Peter is stuck on the previous statement “I am with you a little while longer.  You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come” (John 13:33)

·         Peter’s heart is very troubled: Example-my kids if they cant come with me, they get bummed out.

·         And so Peter asked a question and this is the beginning of a question/answer session with the disciples.

·         It actually begins here in chapter thirteen, it’s after the dinner, and Jesus is sharing things with them.

Having said that He’s going to go away, in a little while they can’t come where He is going, then Peter said to Him, Lord, where are You going? 

First question.  Where are you going, Lord?  And Jesus answered Him, Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow me afterward.  Peter questioned again, “Why can’t I follow You now?  I will lay down my life for You.”  And then Jesus predicted Peter’s denial before the rooster would crow in the morning.

So Jesus went on to say…  “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1)


!! A.                 Troubled hearts are delivered through belief (v.1).

1.                  “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me…”  (v.1a).

a)                  Deliverance from troubled hearts comes through belief in Jesus.

(1)                 Believing in Jesus Christ will deliver you from trouble (John 14:6) – He is the only way

(2)                 Continuing to believe in Jesus Christ while you are in the midst of trouble will carry you thru.

(a)                 When a sinner believes in Jesus Christ he has peace with God

Paul put it this way “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, NASB95)

(b)                When we continue to believe in Jesus Christ and pray when we are anxious, we have the peace of God

When bad times or situations come we are to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:6-7, NASB95)

(3)                 | We all have a tendency to borrow trouble & to imagine things worse than they really are |

The Lord does not want us to have troubled hearts but hearts of peace…

(a)                 What is it today that your heart is troubled about?  Child, work, finances, marriage…

(b)                In the world, peace is something you hope for or work for; but to the Christian, peace is God’s wonderful gift, received by faith.

(c)                 Unsaved people enjoy peace when there is an absence of trouble; Christians enjoy peace in spite of trials because of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

That is why Jesus said ““Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”  (John 14:27)

In Chapter 16 of Johns Gospel He said “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33, NASB95)

Loving God’s Word brings peace, in Psalm 119 we read “Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.”  (Psalm 119:165, NASB95)

Having our thoughts fixed upon God brings peace “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV)

(4)                 “Troubled” means to to stir up, to trouble, agitate and is figuratively used of the mind, to disturb with various emotions such as fear.

(5)                 Jesus knew their hearts, seeing right into them knowing they were troubled.

(6)                 Illustration: A raging storm on the sea is intense, but go down under the water 200 ft, its calm!

b)                  Deliverance from troubled hearts comes through the example of Jesus (Heb.12:1-4).

(1)                 Think about this: John 13 is a really intense chapter…

(a)                 now Jesus says that His time has come to depart from this world to the Father…

(b)                the devil puts into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus…

(c)                 the disciples argued over who was the greatest, no one took the initiative to wash feet, therefore, Jesus gives them an example of serving one another…

(d)                the disciples were constantly asking Him questions…

(e)                 Jesus tells them that one of them is going to betray Him…and after that John tells us that Jesus’ spirit was troubled… remember Jn.14:1-let not your heart be troubled”?

(f)                  then Satan literally enters into Judas!

(2)                 Think about this: Jesus is the one going to the cross and the disciples should be supporting Jesus but Jesus is supporting them spiritually as well as emotionally. 

(a)                 Even when we are going thru tough times, the Lord wants us to minister to others!

(b)                In another passage Jesus was sorrowful and deeply distressed (Matt.26:36-46).

(c)                 Many times we want people to leave us alone but God wants us to minister to them.


!!!!! (3)                 Jesus even ministered while on the cross.

(a)                 He prays for forgiveness to those who “no not what they do”

(b)                He granted eternal life to a dying sinner who believed in Him (Luke 23:26-43)

(c)                 He didn’t overlook the responsibility to make provision for His mother (John 19:25, 26)

(d)                He take’s upon Himself the sins of the world (Matt.27:45)

B.                Troubled hearts are delivered through hope for God’s house (v.2a).

1.                  “In My Fathers house are many mansions… a permanent dwelling place” (v.2a).

a)                  The Preparation of Heaven.

(1)                 Imagine how thrilled the disciples were to hear that Christ was going to the Father to prepare a place for them.

(2)                 That promise gave them a whole new perspective.  Christ wasn’t going away to leave them; He was going away to get heaven ready for them, and this promise is for us as well.

(3)                 Think about this: Christ went to prepare a place for us, not willing that any should perish, wanting all to spend eternity with Him, plenty of room in heaven…

But when he was born, Luke says that Mary “brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  (Luke 2:7)

(4)                 I love the way He addressed God as Father.  Jesus, who had dwelt eternally in the bosom of the Father, came forth to reveal the Father; He was busy about His Fathers business.  Now that His work would soon be done, He was planning to return to full glory with the Father.

b)                  The location of our future home.

(1)                 What was Christ talking about when He referred to His Father’s house?  He was speaking about heaven.

(a)                 In the New Testament, heaven is called a country (Heb. 11:16)…  It’s called a city (Heb. 11:10)…  It’s called a kingdom (Matt. 4:17)… and it is called paradise (Luke 23:43) because of its beauty.

(b)                But what I like best is when Christ calls heaven “My Father’s house.”  As a child, whenever I traveled away from home for football games in Arizona, I always thought the best thing I could possibly do was go back to my father’s house.

(c)                 Going to heaven won’t be like going into a giant palace where we have to be formal.  When we go there, it’ll be like going home:

(2)                 In John 2:16, Jesus called the Temple in Jerusalem His Father’s house.

(a)                 When He cleansed the Temple of merchants and moneychangers in (Matt.21:12-13), He said, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves’” (v.13).

(b)                The Temple was the Father’s house until (Matt.23:38), where Jesus wept over Jerusalem and said, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”  From then on, heaven became the Father’s house


!!!! c)                  The layout of our future home.

(1)                 Jesus said that in His Father’s house “are many dwelling places” (John 14:2; NASB).  Some Bible translations use the phrase “many mansions” as the NKJV, however, that gives the incorrect idea:

(a)                 We tend to visualize a new real estate development with an agent who shows us a map and says, “Your mansion is two blocks down and four blocks to the left” but heaven won’t be like that.

(b)                The phrase “dwelling places” refers to how the Israelites lived:

(i)                   When a son became married, the father would add a wing to his house.  When another son married, another wing was added onto the house.

(ii)                 Eventually the original dwelling would become a set of dwellings that enclosed a patio in the middle.  All the relatives lived around that patio.

(iii)                So Jesus wasn’t talking about a apartment building, but a complete dwelling place surrounding a central patio.  We will be in dwellings attached to the Father’s house–right in the same house with the Father!

(2)                 Revelation 21:16 tells us how large the city in heaven will be:

John says that “The city is laid out as a square; its length is as great as its breadth.  And he measured the city with the reed: twelve thousand furlongs.  Its length, breadth, and height are equal…  “Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel” (Rev.21:16-17).

(a)                 The length is as long as its breadth and heights, 1500 miles on each side, this means that each foundation stone is 1500 miles long on each side.

(b)                The thickness of the wall and gates is 144 cubits or 266 feet thick (Rev. 21:17).

(c)                 The walls are made of jasper: a crystal-like rock that is green in color.  The crystal green walls sparkle with the most beautiful color as the reflection of God’s glory strikes them.

(d)                Can you imagine the light (the glory of God), penetrating through a wall which is made of jasper (21:18) and is clear as crystal (21:11), and which goes through a wall (1500 miles long and cubed) with a wall 216 feet thick!!!

(3)                 The Heavenly City Is Worth Any Price To Enter.  No matter what a person has to sacrifice, he is a fool if he does not give up everything he has to enter the heavenly city of God.

The Parable of the hidden treasure, & the pear of great price.  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44)…  “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  (Matthew 13:45-46, NKJV)

Are you laying up treasure in heaven, our Lord said “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”  (Matthew 6:20, NKJV)

Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”” (Matthew 19:21, NKJV)

Paul himself said “What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.  Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,” (Philippians 3:7-10, NKJV)


!!!! d)                  The life-style in our future home (Revelation 21:1-4).

(1)                 The greatest thing about heaven is that God will dwell with us and us with Him (v.3):

Christ’s words to His disciples will be answered “And 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.”  (John 14:1-3, NKJV)

Christ’s prayer to the Father will be answered “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”  (John 17:24, NKJV)

(2)                 God will wipe away every tear from our eyes: the absence of anything to be sorry about.

(3)                 No more electric bills (Rev.21:22-23).

(4)                 When we are in the Father’s house, the Lord will take care of all the hurts and needs of His children.  He will drive away all pain. 

(5)                 We should already feel bound to heaven.  Our Father is there, as well as our Savior, our home, our names, our future lives, our affections, our hearts, our inheritances, and our citizenship.  And the great promise of John 14:3 is that Christ is in heaven now preparing it for us!

2.                  “If it were not so, I would have told you…”  (v.2b).

a)                  Nothing but the Truth.

(1)                 Jesus was saying, “Trust Me!  I’ve always told you the truth.  I’m not saying this just to try to make you feel good.”

In John 18:37, we read Jesus saying to Pilate, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I unto the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.”  Christ always speaks the truth. 

C.                Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ work (v.2b).

1.                  “I go to prepare a place for you…”  (v.2c).

a)                  This is the key element to our comfort.

(1)                 Ladies, when you have guests over your homes, don’t you lovingly prepare it for them?  You may set our flowers and books, maybee light candles… you make it ready for them, right!

(2)                 Jesus is preparing a special place for us. 

(a)                 I suppose my room will have a 48 channel mixing board (with the latest technology of course) all digital… a wall full of Marshall Stacks, guitars gallor… maybee not.

(b)                The point: Jesus is preparing a place for us & that brings comfort in our troubles world

(3)                 When we plan for a family vacation or trip of some sort, do we just drive off with no prior preparation?  We obtain brochures, talk to our friends, pack our bags, and examine maps. 

(4)                 How much more should we prepare for eternity in our heavenly home

b)                  Where is He to go?

(1)                 Jesus went to the cross to prepare redemption for us.

Speaking of Himself, Jesus said that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28, NKJV)

Think about what Jesus did for us, Paul said “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”  (2 Corinthians 8:9, NKJV)

(2)                 Jesus went to be raised from the dead to prepare a new life for us.

We have the power to live a life of victory, “that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”  (Romans 6:4, NKJV)

(3)                 Jesus ascends into heaven to prepare access into the presence of God for us.

Because Jesus prepared access for us into the presence of God we can “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need” (Heb.4:16)


!! D.                Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ return (v.3a).

1.                  “I will come again and receive you to myself…”  (v.3a).

a)                  The Lord’s promise of coming again.

(1)                 Not only is Christ preparing heaven for us, but He will also come back and take us there.

(2)                 The Lord is not going to send someone else to get us.  He will take us home personally AND that tells us how precious we are to Him.

(3)                 Illustration:      I heard of a story about a father who dropped off his little boy at a street corner, and told him he would be back in twenty minutes after taking care of some business.  The father’s car broke down, and he wasn’t able to get back to his son for four or five hours.  The son waited on the corner by a store that whole time, and the panicky father had no way of phoning him.  He didn’t get back until eleven o’clock at night, and the boy was rocking back and forth on the sidewalk whistling a tune.  The father pulled up to the curb, hugged his son, and said he was very sorry.  The boy replied, “What are you sorry about?  You said you were coming.”

(4)                 That’s the kind of trust we can put in the Lord.  He said He was coming back.  It may look like its becoming dark around us but we can still trust His promise to return. 

Paul said that “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:11-13, NKJV)

(5)                 Important application (John 21:19-22): many time we take our eyes off of the Lord and His promises and put them on others… very dangerous.  The Lord told Peter to “follow Me” and immediately, Peter began to follow Jesus.  However, for a moment Peter took his eyes off the Lord Jesus, a mistake he had made at least two other times.

(a)                 Rememeber that first great catch of fish, Peter took his eyes off his Lord and looked at himself.  “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”  (Luke 5:8).

(b)                When he was walking on the stormy sea with Jesus, Peter looked away from the Lord and began to look at the waves; and immediately he began to sink (Matt. 14:30).

(c)                 Here, Peter takes his eyes off the Lord and looks back at John following them.  Beware when you get your eyes off the Lord and start to look at other Christians! (Hebrew 12:1-2) looking unto Jesus


!!! 2.                  “I will come again and receive you to myself…”  (v.3b)

a)                  The Lord’s promise of receiving us to Himself.

(1)                 The Lord promises to receive us to Himself, however, there is a difference between the believer meeting Jesus in death and meeting Jesus in the air at His return.

(2)                 The believer does meet Jesus at death: One moment he is in this world; the next moment he is in the presence of the Lord.

Stephen, while being stoned to death, “saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God” (Acts 7:59, 55).

Paul said: “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2Cor.5:8).

Paul, “he had a desire” to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better” (Phil. 1:23).

Jesus had even promised the thief: “today you shall be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

(3)                 The believers who are alive and remain at His coming, meet Him in the air: Jesus will come one day to gather His own who are alive and raise the bodies of those who have died to take them all to heaven – the Rapture.

(a)                 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 esp. (v.58) 

(b)                1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

I LOVE WHAT PAULS SAYS TO TIMOTHY…  “But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear.  Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.  And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom.  To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”  (2 Timothy 4:17-18, NKJV)

Because we will meet the Lord one day & not knowing the day or hour, we ought to be “those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.”  (Luke 12:37)

E.                 Troubled hearts are delivered through an eternal habitation with Jesus (v.3b).

1.                  “That where I am, there you may be also…”  (v.3b).

a)                  The very reason, according to John, Jesus is returning.

(1)                 We shall be with our Lord forever who has, saved us, forgiven us, delievered us from the bondage of sin, death and hell… with the one who has cared for us day by day.

(2)                 This should be the very thing that our heart longs for, because this is the very longing of His heart, ther very thing which He prayed so intensely for to the Father:

In John 17, Jesus prayed “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me.”  (John 17:24)

(3)                 How do we know that Christians go to heaven? 

Because of the price that Jesus paid, Paul said For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, NKJV)

Because of the promise that Jesus made (John 14:1–6):

And because of the prayer that Jesus prayed (John 17:24).

(4)                 The Father always answers His Son’s prayers, so we know that believers who die do go to heaven to behold the glory of God.

I.  Jesus’ Death Delivers Troubled Hearts, 14:1-3

A. Troubled hearts are delivered through belief (v.1).

B. Troubled hearts are delivered through hope for God’s house (v.2a).

C. Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ work (v.2b).

D. Troubled hearts are delivered through Jesus’ return (v.3a).

E. Troubled hearts are delivered through an eternal habitation with Jesus (v.3b).

What does John 14:1 mean?

In the last few moments, Jesus has indicated one of the disciples is a deceiver (John 13:21) and predicted Peter will deny knowing Him at all (John 13:38; Luke 22:34). This comes in the context of frequent references to His impending death (John 12:7, 23–24).

This is why Jesus takes the time to reassure the disciples directly, telling them not to be “troubled.” This comes from the same Greek root word describing Jesus’ spirit in verses like John 11:33 and John 12:27. Some scholars suggest a difference between being troubled in one’s spirit, as opposed to being troubled in the heart. That would suggest Jesus is not commanding anyone to “be happy,” but to “be brave.” Whether John intended that nuance or not, much of what Jesus is about to say involves enduring hardship without losing trust. In practice, at least, this is a call for courage more than an upbeat mood.

There is also debate over the exact meaning of Jesus’ statement about belief in God and belief in Himself. This might be two individual commands: “trust God and trust Me.” Or, it might be an expression of logic: “you trust God, therefore you also trust Me.” Or, even as “if you trust God, you will trust Me.” Given what Jesus is about to say, a double command seems to make the most sense. Regardless, it’s clear that Christ is encouraging faith in God, and in Himself, in the face of what’s about to come.

Context Summary

John 14:1–14 continues Jesus’ discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter’s denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ”the way, and the truth, and the life.” That is the sixth of seven such ”I Am” statements included in John’s gospel. This section includes Jesus’ words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.

Chapter Summary

Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ”the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him

What does John 14:2 mean?

This verse uses the term monai, which most literally means “dwelling places.” Translations such as the KJV have rendered this as “mansions.” Many have latched onto this in a very literal way, imagining that Jesus is promising physical palaces for all Christians in heaven. While that’s not entirely impossible, there’s a more important meaning here. Jesus says these monai are in His “Father’s House,” using the expression tē oikia, which can mean a physical house or a family. In this context, it seems to mean something more family-related. Christ’s meaning here is more likely a reassurance that in the family of God is room for all of them, more so than a promise for a fancy house. That’s more in keeping with Jesus’ later comment in this verse that He’s preparing “a place” using a very generic Greek term, topon.

Jesus’ remark here is meant to continue the reassurance He began in the prior verse. Like that verse, this one contains an expression which can be translated in more than one way. Translators have rendered this phrase as a rhetorical question, a direct statement, and either included or separated the comment about a “place” into the sentence. Which of those was John’s original intent is an answer deeply buried in ancient Greek grammar and vocabulary. No matter which is ultimately the case, the practical meaning is the same: Christ has not been deceptive, there is restoration at the end of a believer’s life journey, and this destiny is the result of Christ’s efforts.

Jesus will use the same word for “dwelling places” in John 14:23 when He speaks about coming to make His home in those who believe.

Context Summary

John 14:1–14 continues Jesus’ discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter’s denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ”the way, and the truth, and the life.” That is the sixth of seven such ”I Am” statements included in John’s gospel. This section includes Jesus’ words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.

Chapter Summary

Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ”the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him

What does John 14:3 mean?

In prior comments, Jesus pointed out that He was about to go somewhere others could not follow (John 7:32–34). The short-term implication was that only Jesus could walk the path of sacrifice, death, resurrection, and ascension. In making those remarks, Jesus also indicated that His critics would not “find” Him (John 8:21); this is not a restriction He mentioned to His disciples (John 13:36).

In a broader sense, Jesus continues to provide reassurance to His disciples (John 14:1). In literal terms, this verse contains a vague promise to return and bring these men to be where He is. He does not indicate that anyone will travel or arrive, but that He will be the One bringing them to the destination. This is especially interesting in that Jesus will also indicate that these men know “the way to” this place. Put together, most interpreters view this as a reference to the rapture, when Christ will take believers from earth in advance of the end times. During His later prayer, Jesus will repeat this idea of believers being in the places where He is (John 17:24).

The combined effect of this encouragement is preparation to endure hardship. The disciples are about to experience several days of fear and loss (John 20:19; Mark 14:27), followed by the chaotic joy of Christ’s resurrection (Mark 16:6–8). Afterwards, and continuing to today, those who follow Christ will be subject to persecution (John 15:20). Because of what Christ has done, and the fact that those trials are expected (John 13:19; 16:4), believers can hold to a firm trust in the promises of God.

Context Summary

John 14:1–14 continues Jesus’ discourse with the disciples at the last supper. He has recently mentioned a traitor in their midst and predicted Peter’s denials. That leads Jesus to reassure these men—reminding them that He has told them the truth and has all things in hand. In this passage, Christ famously refers to Himself as ”the way, and the truth, and the life.” That is the sixth of seven such ”I Am” statements included in John’s gospel. This section includes Jesus’ words, personal experience, and evidence of His miracles as reasons to maintain trust.

Chapter Summary

Christ reassures His followers that faith in Him is faith in God. To know Christ is to know ”the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The words, actions, and miracles of Jesus should give Christians confidence to trust that He will make good on His promises. Among those are His guarantee that He is preparing to come for us, so we can be where He is. Jesus also predicts the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is only available to believers, and this Helper acts to guide, teach, and remind us. Both for the disciples, and for future Christians, these words are meant to be comforting during hard times. Since Christ knew, in advance, what would happen, we can be even more confident to trust Him.

What does John 14:1-3 mean?

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Rabbi Meir Baal Haness

Prayer For Lost objects

After Saying The Prayer of

Reb Meir Say Three Times

G‑d of Meir answer me!

OPEN

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3 KJV)

Matthew Henry’s Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOHN CHAPTER 14  

This chapter is a continuation of Christ’s discourse with his disciples after supper. When he had convicted and discarded Judas, he set himself to comfort the rest, who were full of sorrow upon what he had said of leaving them, and a great many good words and comfortable words he here speaks to them. The discourse in interlocutory; as Peter in the foregoing chapter, so Thomas, and Philip, and Jude, in this interposed their thoughts upon what he said, according to the liberty he was pleased to allow them. Free conferences are as instructive as solemn speeches, and more so. The general scope of this chapter is in the first verse; it is designed to keep trouble from their hearts; now in order to this they must believe: and let them consider,  

I. Heaven as their everlasting rest, Joh 14:2-3.  

II. Christ himself as their way, Joh 14:4-11.  

III. The great power they shall be clothed with by the prevalence of their prayers, Joh 14:12-14.  

IV. The coming of another comforter, Joh 14:15-17.  

V. The fellowship and communion that should be between him and them after his departure, Joh 14:18-24.  

VI. The instructions which the Holy Ghost should give them, Joh 14:25-26.  

VII. The peace Christ bequeathed to them, Joh 14:27.  

VII. Christ’s own cheerfulness in his departure, Joh 14:28-31. And this which he said to them is designed for the comfort of all his faithful followers.  

Ver. 1. thru Ver. 3.  

In these verses we have,  

I. A general caution which Christ gives to his disciples against trouble of heart (Joh 14:1): Let not your heart be troubled. They now began to be troubled, were entering into this temptation. Now here see,  

1. How Christ took notice of it. Perhaps it was apparent in their looks; it was said (Joh 13:22), They looked one upon another with anxiety and concern, and Christ looked upon them all, and observed it; at least, it was intelligible to the Lord Jesus, who is acquainted with all our secret undiscovered sorrows, with the wound that bleeds inwardly; he knows not only how we are afflicted, but how we stand affected under our afflictions, and how near they lie to our hearts; he takes cognizance of all the trouble which his people are at any time in danger of being overwhelmed with; he knows our souls in adversity. Many things concurred to trouble the disciples now.  

(1.) Christ had just told them of the unkindness he should receive from some of them, and this troubled them all. Peter, no doubt, looked very sorrowful upon what Christ said to him, and all the rest were sorry for him and for themselves too, not knowing whose turn it should be to be told next of some ill thing or other they should do. As to this, Christ comforts them; though a godly jealousy over ourselves is of great use to keep us humble and watchful, yet it must not prevail to the disquieting of our spirits and the damping of our holy joy.  

(2.) He had just told them of his own departure from them, that he should not only go away, but go away in a cloud of sufferings. They must shortly hear him loaded with reproaches, and these will be as a sword in their bones; they must see him barbarously abused and put to death, and this also will be a sword piercing through their own souls, for they had loved him, and chosen him, and left all to follow him. When we now look upon Christ pierced, we cannot but mourn and be in bitterness, though we see the glorious issue and fruit of it; much more grievous must the sight be to them, who could then look no further. If Christ depart from them  

[1.] They will think themselves shamefully disappointed; for they looked that this had been he that should have delivered Israel, and should have set upon his kingdom in secular power and glory, and, in expectation of this, had lost all to follow him. Now, if he leave the world in the same circumstances of meanness and poverty in which he had lived, and worse, they are quite defeated.  

[2.] They will think themselves sadly deserted and exposed. They knew by experience what little presence of mind they had in difficult emergencies, that they could count upon nothing but being ruined and run down if they part with their Master. Now, in reference to all these, Let not your heart be troubled. Here are three words, upon any of which the emphasis may significantly be laid. First, Upon the word troubled, mh tarassesyw. Be not so troubled as to be put into a hurry and confusion, like the troubled sea when it cannot rest. He does not say,  

“Let not your hearts be sensible of the griefs, or sad because of them” but, “Be not ruffled and discomposed, be not cast down and disquieted,”  

 Ps 42:5. Secondly, Upon the word heart:  

“Though the nation and city be troubled, though your little family and flock be troubled, yet let not your heart be troubled. Keep possession of your own souls when you can keep possession of nothing else.”  

The heart is the main fort; whatever you do, keep trouble from this, keep this with all diligence. The spirit must sustain the infirmity, therefore, see that this be not wounded. Thirdly, Upon the word your:  

“You that are my disciples and followers, my redeemed, chosen, sanctified ones, however others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so, for you know better; let the sinners in Zion tremble, but let the sons of Zion be joyful in their king.”  

Herein Christ’s disciples should do more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when every thing else is unquiet.  

2. The remedy he prescribes against this trouble of mind, which he saw ready to prevail over them; in general, believe–pisteuete.  

(1.) Some read it in both parts imperatively,  

“Believe in God, and his perfections and providence, believe also in me, and my mediation. Build with confidence upon the great acknowledged principles of natural religion: that there is a God, that he is most holy, wise, powerful, and good; that he is the governor of the world, and has the sovereign disposal of all events; and comfort yourselves likewise with the peculiar doctrines of that holy religion which I have taught you.”  

But,  

(2.) We read the former as an acknowledgment that they did believe in God, for which he commends them:  

“But, if you would effectually provide against a stormy day, believe also in me.”  

Through Christ we are brought into covenant with God, and become interested in his favour and promise, which otherwise as sinners we must despair of, and the remembrance of God would have been our trouble; but, by believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, our belief in God becomes comfortable; and this is the will of God, that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father, by believing in the Son as they believe in the Father. Those that rightly believe in God will believe in Jesus Christ, whom he has made known to them; and believing in God through Jesus Christ is an excellent means of keeping trouble from the heart. The joy of faith is the best remedy against the griefs of sense; it is a remedy with a promise annexed to it; the just shall live by faith; a remedy with a probatum est annexed to it. I had fainted unless I had believed.  

II. Here is a particular direction to act faith upon the promise of eternal life, Joh 14:2-3. He had directed them to trust to God, and to trust in him; but what must they trust God and Christ for? Trust them for a happiness to come when this body and this world shall be no more, and for a happiness to last as long as the immortal soul and the eternal world shall last. Now this is proposed as a sovereign cordial under all the troubles of this present time, to which there is that in the happiness of heaven which is admirably adapted and accommodated. The saints have encouraged themselves with this in their greatest extremities, That heaven would make amends for all. Let us see how this is suggested here.  

1. Believe and consider that really there is such a happiness: In my Father’s house there are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, Joh 14:2.  

(1.) See under what notion the happiness of heaven is here represented: as mansions, many mansions in Christ’s Father’s house.  

[1.] Heaven is a house, not a tent or tabernacle; it is a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  

[2.] It is a Father’s house: my Father’s house; and his Father is our Father, to whom he was now ascending; so that in right of their elder brother all true believers shall be welcome to that happiness as to their home. It is his house who is King of kings and Lord of lords, dwells in light, and inhabits eternity.  

[3.] There are mansions there; that is, First, Distinct dwellings, an apartment for each. Perhaps there is an allusion to the priests’ chambers that were about the temple. In heaven there are accommodations for particular saints; though all shall be swallowed up in God, yet our individuality shall not be lost there; every Israelite had his lot in Canaan, and every elder a seat, Re 4:4. Secondly, Durable dwellings. monai,from mneiw, maneo, abiding places. The house itself is lasting; our estate in it is not for a term of years, but a perpetuity. Here we are as in an inn; in heaven we shall gain a settlement. The disciples had quitted their houses to attend Christ, who had not where to lay his head, but the mansions in heaven will make them amends.  

[4.] There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory, and Christ exactly knows their number, nor will be straitened for room by the coming of more company than he expects. He had told Peter that he should follow him (Joh 13:36), but let not the rest be discouraged, in heaven there are mansions for them all. Rehoboth, Ge 26:22.  

(2.) See what assurance we have of the reality of the happiness itself, and the sincerity of the proposal of it to us:  

“If it were not so, I would have told you. If you had deceived yourselves, when you quitted your livelihoods, and ventured your lives for me, in prospect of a happiness future and unseen, I would soon have undeceived you.”  

The assurance is built,  

[1.] Upon the veracity of his word. It is implied,  

“If there were not such a happiness, valuable and attainable, I would not have told you that there was.”  

[2.] Upon the sincerity of his affection to them. As he is true, and would not impose upon them himself, so he is kind, and would not suffer them to be imposed upon. If either there were no such mansions, or none designed for them, who had left all to follow him, he would have given them timely notice of the mistake, that they might have made an honourable retreat to the world again, and have made the best they could of it. Note, Christ’s good-will to us is a great encouragement to our hope in him. He loves us too well, and means us too well, to disappoint the expectations of his own raising, or to leave those to be of all men most miserable who have been of him most observant.  

2. Believe and consider that the design of Christ’s going away was to prepare a place in heaven for his disciples.  

“You are grieved to think of my going away, whereas I go on your errand, as the forerunner; I am to enter for you.”  

He went to prepare a place for us; that is,  

(1.) To take possession for us, as our advocate or attorney, and so to secure our title as indefeasible. Livery of seisin was given to Christ, for the use and behoof of all that should believe on him.  

(2.) To make provision for us as our friend and father. The happiness of heaven, though prepared before the foundation of the world, yet must be further fitted up for man in his fallen state. It consisting much in the presence of Christ there, it was therefore necessary that he should go before, to enter into that glory which his disciples were to share in. Heaven would be an unready place for a Christian if Christ were not there. He went to prepare a table for them, to prepare thrones for them, Lu 22:30. Thus Christ declares the fitness of heaven’s happiness for the saints, for whom it is prepared.  

3. Believe and consider that therefore he would certainly come again in due time, to fetch them to that blessed place which he was now going to possess for himself and prepare for them (Joh 14:3):  

“If I go and prepare a place for you, if this be the errand of my journey, you may be sure, when every thing is ready, I will come again, and receive you to myself, so that you shall follow me hereafter, that where I am there you may be also.”  

Now these are comfortable words indeed.  

(1.) That Jesus Christ will come again; ercomai–I do come, intimating the certainty of it, that he will come and that he is daily coming. We say, We are coming, when we are busy in preparing for our coming, and so he is; all he does has a reference and tendency to his second coming. Note, The belief of Christ’s second coming, of which he has given us the assurance, is an excellent preservative against trouble of heart, Php 4:5; Jas 5:8.  

(2.) That he will come again to receive all his faithful followers to himself. He sends for them privately at death, and gathers them one by one; but they are to make their public entry in solemn state all together at the last day, and then Christ himself will come to receive them, to conduct them in the abundance of his grace, and to welcome them in the abundance of his love. He will hereby testify the utmost respect and endearment imaginable. The coming of Christ is in order to our gathering together unto him, 2Th 2:1.  

(3.) That where he is there they shall be also. This intimates, what many other scriptures declare, that the quintessence of heaven’s happiness is being with Christ there, Joh 17:24; Php 1:23; 1Th 4:17. Christ speaks of his being there as now present, that where I am; where I am to be shortly, where I am to be eternally; there you shall be shortly, there you shall be eternally: not only there, in the same place; but there, in the same state: not only spectators of his glory, as the three disciples on the mount, but sharers in it.  

(4.) That this may be inferred from his going to prepare a place for us, for his preparations shall not be in vain. He will not build and furnish lodgings, and let them stand empty. He will be the finisher of that of which he is the author. If he has prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it, and in due time put us in possession of it. As the resurrection of Christ is the assurance of our resurrection, so his ascension, victory, and glory, are an assurance of ours.

EN ES

NOV 15

1

Sermon: John 14:1-3: I Go To Prepare A Place For You

Old Testament Reading: Ezekiel 37:15–28

“The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.’”(Ezekiel 37:15–28, ESV)

New Testament Reading: John 14:1-3

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1–3, ESV)

Introduction

Brothers and sisters, I want to begin to our consideration of the text before us by remembering things that happened long ago. It will eventually become clear why it is that I am introducing this sermon in this way. We should begin our consideration of John 14 by first of all remembering that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth”, that is, all things visible and invisible. The scriptures tell us that “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1–2, ESV) I think you would agree with me, this was no place for man to dwell. This empty and chaotic darkness was by no means suitable for man. There was no place for him in this dark and chaotic abyss.

And so God began to bring the earth into shape. He began, by the power of his word, to form and fashion the earth into a realm suitable for his creatures.  “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3–4, ESV) He then divided the waters below from the waters above – the sky and the sea were created. And then he separated the seas from the dry land, and the dry land produced vegetation. These realms God created so that they might be filled with their proper rulers.

And that is in fact what God proceeded to do. Now that the earth was brought into shape – now that suitable realms had been created – he proceeded to fill those realms with things that would govern them. The scriptures tell us that on day four of creation God created the sun, moon, and stars. These were placed within their proper realm in order to rule the day and the night. In like manner God, on day five, created the flying creatures and the sea creatures, and they were placed within the realms created for them on day two. They were to multiply and fill the sky and the sea. And on day six we are told that God filled the land, which was created on day three,  with “the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:25, ESV)

The creation account of Genesis 1 follows this pattern: realms were created, and then those realms were filled with creature kings. A place was made – light; the sky and the sea; dry land – and then those places were filled with God’s creatures who were given the task of governing in one way or another.

But you say, there is more to the creation story! And you are right! In Genesis 1:26 we hear of the pinnacle of God’s creation:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” (Genesis 1:26–31, ESV)

Much can be said about the creation account of Genesis 1, but what I want you to see is that at the heart of it is this idea: God made a place for man. He created all things visible and invisible by the power of his Word. He then, by the power of his Word, brought the earth out of its formless, empty, and dark state. And he did so until there was a place where man could dwell.

Genesis 2 tells us the same story but from a different vantage point. It zooms in upon man. Man, we are told was created directly by God. He was created from the dust of the ground. God breathed into him the breath of life. And the woman was taken out of man. After man was created by God he “put the man whom he had formed” into the garden paradise that he had created (Genesis 2:8, ESV).

Church, there is a question that we must answer before we move on. And the question is this: what made that garden paradise, paradise? Have you ever considered that? We might be tempted to think that it was the climate, or the lushness of the place? Perhaps it was the abundance of food? Or maybe it was the absence of sickness and death. These things certainly contributed to man’s enjoyment of paradise, but may I suggest to you the thing that made paradise, paradise, had nothing to do with the physical creation, but rather had everything to do with the fact that it was there that man walked with God. Eden – the original creation – was like a temple where man enjoyed unbroken, unhindered, unmediated, fellowship with the God who made him. Adam and Eve walked with God. He was their God, and they his people. God tabernacled with man there in that place. God is what made paradise, paradise.

Those of you familiar with the Bible are aware of the fact that Genesis 1and 2 are followed quickly by Genesis 3 which tells us of man’s original sin, the fall. The consequence of the sin of our first parents was that paradise was lost. The wages of sin is death. Sickness and suffering became the norm. Man was put out of the garden paradise, the way to the tree of life being blocked. But more than all of this we should notice that man lost his place before God. No longer would he walk with God in an unbroken, unhindered, unmediated way. No, he was now a sinner. He was a child of wrath. He stood guiltily before God – condemned.

But as you know, God showed mercy to fallen man. In an act of sheer grace he promised to redeem. He promised to defeat the evil one. He promised to send a Savior. God promised to make a way for fallen man to dwell with him. The Bible, as complicated as it may seem, is really quite simple – it is the story of God making and keeping his promise to save a people unto himself through Jesus who is the Christ.

With that in mind let us now move from our consideration of the creation and fall forward through the history of redemption. Let us pass by Able and Seth, Enoch and Noah. Let us move past Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And passing by Moses and David let us now fix our attention upon Jesus, who is the Christ, the Promised one from long ago.

Picture him there in the upper room with his disciples. He had walked with them for over three years. He taught them many things. He preformed miracles before their eyes, and in the sight of others. They believed that he was the Christ, the Savior of the world, and they expected him to remain forever. But now he is talking about going away. In John 13:33 we hear Jesus say, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” (John 13:33, ESV)

The disciples were troubled at this word. They were greatly distressed. They were bothered at the thought of their Master going away. After all, they expected him to remain forever! They thought to themselves, why does he need to leave? Where does he plan to go? Will will see him again? And how will we possibly get along in this world without him? These were the thoughts that were troubling the disciples of Jesus.

Notice that Jesus brings comfort to his disciples. That is what John 14 is all about. Jesus is comforting his disciples concerning his departure. And not only did he comfort the 11 who remained with him in the upper room on the night of of his betrayal and arrest, but he, by way of extension, also comforts you and I who live in this age between Christ first and second coming.

And how does Christ comfort those who are his who will live in the time between his first and second comings?

Christ commands us, saying, “let not your hearts be troubled.”

Look at verse 1. Jesus says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1, ESV) Isn’t this like our Lord! We know that he himself was “troubled in spirit”, and yet, even with with the weight of the world upon his shoulders, his gives himself to the task of comforting his disciples with the words, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

These words were originally for the 11 disciples who remained, it is true. But they are also for you and me. Jesus says to all who are his who live in this world between his first and second coming, “Let not your hearts be troubled”.

Christian, do you see that this is a command? “Let not your hearts be troubled”, Jesus says. It is an imperative in the Greek.  And as a command it is something that we are to obey. When our hearts are anxious – when our hearts are troubled with the cares that come with living in this world – we are to hear the command of our Savior saying, “let not your hearts be troubled.” And upon hearing his words, we are to obey them.

Christ urges us, saying, “believe in God, believe also in me.”

Thankfully there is substance to the command. There is weight behind it! You and I might say to one another, “don’t worry”, or “be happy”, but there is little substance to that. We might respond to encouragement like that saying, but why should I not worry? Or, why should I be happy? Jesus gives us a reason. He says,  “let not your hearts be troubled”, but he does not leave us with and empty command. He directs our attention to God and urges us to take comfort in him! “Believe in God; believe also in me”, he says. I can think of no greater reason to refrain from fretting than to remember the God who made us and love that he has for us in Christ Jesus. And that is where Jesus directs our attention. “Believe in God”, he says. And “believe also in me”

And so what are we to do when our hearts are filled with angst? We are to heed the command of Christ! We are to run to God and place all of our trust in him. We are to follow the advice of Peter who urges us to, “[cast] all [our] anxieties on [God], because he cares for [us].” (1 Peter 5:7, ESV)

Christ encourages us, saying, “I go and prepare a place for you.”

But Jesus goes further than this as he comforts his disciples assuring them that he his departure is for good a reason. It was not a purposeless departure, but a purposeful one. His departure was for their benefit as he would go away in order to prepare a place for those who belong to him.

Verse 2: “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” (John 14:2, ESV)

When I hear these words the image that comes to mind is that of a husband going away to prepare a place for his bride. Now there is a vast difference between a husband leaving his bride for no good reason, and a husband going away in order to prepare a place for her. In both instances the bride will undoubtably experience a measure of trepidation concerning the departure of her husband, but the two things are entirely different. In the one the departure is for no good reason and to no good end; in the other the departure is for a good purpose – a purpose that will eventually benefit the bride. When a husband separates from his wife for a time in order to prepare a place for her, the wife ultimately rejoices, for she knows that his leaving is essentially good, though it may be difficult for a time. His leaving will bring about something better than what currently is.

So it was with Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and assertion to the Father. He would leave his disciples on earth for a time, but for good reason. He departed in order to prepare a place for those who belong to him – he has gone to prepare a place for us.

Clearly, Jesus was talking about heaven. He refers to heaven as “my Fathers house”. Heaven is the place where God dwells. It is true, there is a sense in which God is everywhere – he is omnipresent. But heaven is that place where his glory dwells. In the scriptures we are, from time to time, given a glimpse into heaven – that is,  of the third heaven – where God is worshipped day and night by the heavenly hosts and the saints who have passed from this world into glory. Jesus here refers to this place as “my Fathers house”.

I suppose it can also be said that Jesus ultimately has in mind the new heavens and the new earth that those who are in Christ will enjoy for all eternity at the consummation. This is ultimately what we should have in mind when we hear Jesus say, “I go to prepare a place for you.” Ultimately, the place that Christ will prepare for us is the new heavens and the new earth.

John describes this place for us at the end of the book of Revelation, saying,

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” (Revelation 21:1–5, ESV)

This is the ultimate and final place that Christ is preparing for those who are his – that is, for his bride, the church.

Jesus tells us that “in his Fathers house their are many rooms.” Are we to think of heaven (as it is now), or the new heavens and new earth (as they will be at the consummation) as giant apartment complex, then? A mansion with many individual rooms in which the people of God will dwell? No. It seems to me that Christ is using figurative language here. The point is that Christ is going away to prepare a place for those who belong to him, and that in that place there is ample room for his people.

There is a reason why I began this sermon by rehearsing the creation account. When thinking of the new heavens and the new earth we ought to have in mind the original creation. In the end, the original creation will be restored. In the end, the people of God will possess that which the first Adam forfeited. We will possess what the first Adam forfeited by trusting in the second Adam, who is the Christ, who accomplished salvation for us. Just as God created the heavens and earth in the beginning (making a place suitable for the first Adam to dwell), so too Christ will usher in the new creation at the end of time (having prepared a place suitable for those united to him to dwell).

The difference between the first creation and the new creation is that in the new creation there will be no possibility for rebellion. We will enter into consummate rest – secure rest – everlasting rest. The first paradise could be lost. The second paradise cannot be lost, because it has been earned (paid in full!) by Jesus, who is the Christ, the second Adam. This is difference between Eden and the eternal state.

The similarity is this: in both the original creation and the new creation, the central and significant feature that God dwells in the midst of his people. The people of God will enjoy unbroken, unhindered, unmediated, fellowship with the God who made them. This is what makes paradise, paradise. 

When talking about heaven people are accustom to speaking of pearly gates, streets of gold, and mansions on hills. We speak often of no more sin, sickness, or death. And it is true that we long for these things. But we are amiss – terribly amiss – if, when thinking of the new heavens and the new earth, we fail to see “God with us” as the most treasured feature of all. He is what makes heaven, heaven. He is what makes paradise, paradise. He indeed is our life.

It was true of the first creation, and will be true of the last. We will walk with God in the cool of the evening.

When the prophet spoke of the glories to come this is very thing that they emphasized – God with us! Remember Ezekiel 37? The promise was this, “But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 37:23, ESV)

Again in verse 26,

“I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.” (Ezekiel 37:26–28, ESV)

These things have already been fulfilled in part at Christ’s first coming, but they will be fulfilled fully at his second coming.

And the book of Revelation paints the same picture for us, doesn’t it? The voice that John heard, said, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” (Revelation 21:3, ESV)

This is what makes paradise, paradise – God with us. We will indeed enjoy unbroken, unhindered, unmediated, fellowship with the God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you see that this is precisely what Jesus emphasizes in John 14? He says, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3, ESV)

Oh church, are you not comforted by these things? Are you not comforted by the fact that, though we may struggle here on earth in the time between Christ’s first and second coming, he has prepared a place for you?

What you and I deserve is to be cast from the presence of God into utter darkness – into the void if you will. But just as God made a place suitable for Adam, so too Christ as had made a place suitable for you and me through his obedient life, his sacrificial death, and his resurrection.

And he has promised to return for us! He would depart for a time. But this separation will not be final. He will return for his bride at the end of time so that where he is we may also be.

Posted in Sermons Joe Anady John 14:1-3
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“Him we proclaim,
warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom,
that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
(Colossians 1:28, ESV)

© 2011-2022 Emmaus Reformed Baptist Church

QUESTION

What does it mean to let not your heart be troubled in John 14:1?

ANSWER

In John 14:1, Jesus tells His disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (ESV). As always, the meaning of any particular passage of Scripture can only be ascertained by understanding the context. So we will back up and take a look at what leads up to Jesus’ command to “let not your heart be troubled.”

In John 12, Jesus tells the crowds (including the disciples) that He would be crucified. In John 13, in the intimate setting of a Passover meal, the meal that later became known as “the Last Supper,” Jesus tells His disciples that one of them would betray Him. He then goes on to tell Peter that he will deny and disown the Lord. Obviously, all of this was upsetting news to the disciples.

After the Last Supper, before He is arrested, Jesus assures His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me” (John 14:1). The information that He goes on to communicate, about heaven and about the Holy Spirit, is the antidote to the disturbing information that they have taken in.

When Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled,” He was comforting His disciples, who definitely had troubled hearts. Jesus promises them that His death will not be the end, and Peter’s denial will not be the end for Peter, either. He explains that His death and subsequent ascension into heaven, rather than leaving them destitute, will bring about two specific blessings: it will enable Him to prepare a place for them, and it will allow Him to send the Holy Spirit to comfort them.

When Jesus said He was going to “prepare a place” for the disciples, He was speaking of His death (John 14:3). We should not imagine that Jesus has been “building heaven” for the last 2,000 years and that it is still “under construction.” Rather, His words mean that His death was the preparation for us to receive a place in the Father’s house. It is ready now.

As part of allaying the disciples’ fears, Jesus also promised that, when He did leave the earth, He would send the Holy Spirit to the disciples and to all believers. Throughout John chapters 15 and 16, Jesus speaks of the disciples’ victory over the world by the power of the Spirit. The book of Acts gives the historical fulfillment of these promises as believers, in the power of the Spirit, took the gospel to the world. The Spirit is still at work in all believers today.

The admonition “do not let your hearts be troubled” was spoken specifically to the disciples in the face of Jesus’ impending death. Believers today are not in the same specific situation, but the admonition still applies. We should not let our hearts be troubled by anxiety or worry about Jesus’ care and plan for us.

When we face trouble, we may think that, if only Jesus were here with us, in person, standing beside us so that we could talk face to face, we could get through the trial. We are tempted to think that we could trust Him better if He were visible and in the flesh. When we begin to have these thoughts, we need to let our hearts be comforted by two key facts: Jesus has done everything that needs to be done for us to be welcomed into the Father’s house, so we are children of the King; and the Holy Spirit lives in us to help us, if we will yield ourselves to His leading. When we rest in the salvation that Jesus provided and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us navigate the dangerous world around us, we can keep from being troubled in our hearts.

FOR FURTHER STUDY

John: Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament by Edward W. Klink III

More insights from your Bible study – Get Started with Logos Bible Software for Free!

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How should Jesus’ saying, “I will not leave you as orphans,” give us hope (John 14:18)?

What did Jesus mean when He said “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12)?

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Questions about John

What does it mean to let not your heart be troubled in John 14:1?

Author: J. Palmer

Living under the wings of God and the angels around me keeping me going and safe. Sharing the love of Christ.

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