The beginning of Jesus’ dialogue with his disciples in John 14 includes verses of hope and promise, but also verses of question. For the disciples, Jesus’ time is about to end hear on earth. Jesus is seeking to offer a bit of comfort as he prepares them for what is to come. However, the disciples still are a bit uncertain of what is going to happen to Jesus and where he is about to go. Even after seeing all that Jesus accomplished, they continue to experience doubts and are looking for a clear sign.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me (John 14:1)”. Jesus speaks these words to remind the disciples that even when there may be questions or doubts, to not let that trouble them. They are to place their trust in Him. Jesus speaks these words to us during a time of social distancing and isolation, where the struggle continues as we journey through the Covid-19 pandemic. The challenges to combat and keep us safe from the illness continue to weigh heavy. May we heed Jesus’ words to not let our hearts be troubled, but rather to trust in God who is fully in control.
“You know the way to the place where I am going (John 14:4)”. Jesus speaks these words to the disciples, but they do not register. Thomas replies to this by saying “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? (John 14:5)”. Despite sharing with the disciples that he was the Son of God and that the Father lived inside of him, the disciples have not fully grasped that Jesus will be returning to the Father. Likewise, for us, we many times try to figure out life on our own. Even after hearing Jesus’ words to us and the promises He has for us, we feel like there is something more we must do on our own. May we seek to trust that through Jesus, we do know the way.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6)” To answer Thomas’ question, Jesus replies with these words. An affirmation and promise for the disciples and for us. When the world tries to provide multiple ways and paths for us to seek, Jesus Christ provides the ultimate way. When there is chaos and uncertainty surrounding us in this world, Jesus Christ provides us the truth of who we are – children of God. As it seems like life as we know it is becoming dismal, Jesus confirms that the fullness of life can only be found through him. May we seek Jesus’ words of promise during a time where fear and doubt can hinder our path, lead us away from truth, and darken our lives.
“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 (John 14:2)” As the disciples would continue their lives on earth, Jesus promised that there was a place being prepared for them in heaven. This is a promise that while life on earth may end, life with our God in heaven would be forever. The disciples did not fully grasp this amazing gift that was being shared with them, and for us, we may struggle as well to understand the significance of these words from Jesus. If we were to look at our current life, we may even question if we deserve the place God is preparing for us. Thankfully, God’s love for us is not determined by our own efforts. God still desires for all of us to dwell with Him forever.
Jesus would continue speaking to the disciples in John 14 about how He is a part of the Father and that by seeing Jesus, the disciples had seen God. For us, as we read about Jesus’ life, the many things he was able to do, and the words he spoke, we too can get a glimpse of who God is. During this season of Easter, when we hear the familiar proclamation “Jesus is Risen”, may we once again be reminded of the promises Jesus speaks to us. Though we face uncertain times, darkened by illness, brokenness, and chaos, our hearts do not need to be troubled. We can trust in God because we can trust that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life”, and is preparing a place for us.
Jesus Christ has Risen! Alleluia!!
Pastor Arlyn ><>