The Gospel of John has some of the most personal and inspiring words of Jesus. This Gospel allows us to sense and experience the life and ministry of Jesus with words that inspire the disciples and words that encourage us. The Gospel is the good news. The good news for us.
In the fourteenth chapter we read these words:
1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you 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. 3And 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. 4And where I go you know, and the way you know.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, and how can we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:1-6)
Jesus has spent almost three years living as an example, sharing personal experiences, teaching in difficult situations and letting the disciples grow in their understanding about His purpose. They have developed a very personal relationship with Him over this very short time which has and will continue to impact their lives.
In this story, Jesus understands the significance of their personal relationship. And Jesus is trying to share with them that their lives and relationships are going to make a sharp move in a new direction.
Jesus is trying to prepare the disciples for an unexpected situation which will occur soon. Jesus will be leaving them. His life will go in a new direction of arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. In all of this Jesus is letting them know he will leave them. It is at this point we come to this short section of scripture. These are powerful words of encouragement and hope for them and these words carry as much weight for us today.
To comfort the disciples, Jesus shares with them some very powerful words that should give them hope and assurance. When Jesus leaves them, Jesus reminds them He will not leave them orphans but He will do two things for them. One is Jesus will go and prepare a place for them so that one day they will again be with Him and secondly, Jesus will leave and the Holy Spirit will come and become present in their lives.
Jesus offers them this assurance and today Jesus offers us this same hope. When we lose someone to death, in Christ we have the assurance of where they are going and who they will be with. We also have the assurance that not only Jesus has prepared for them a place for them but He has also prepared a place for us. This is His assurance to all of us.
We may have a sense of loss but we also have the sense of assurance that in death there is life. Because Jesus says….I am the way, the truth, and the life. We can find comfort and hope in these promises of Jesus.
Even with our sense of loss, Jesus reminds us of the hope that we have in Him. There is not only the hope of life in Christ, there is also the hope of the presence of the Holy Spirit to bring us comfort and peace. We will always have the presence of Christ in our lives. Because of this we are always encouraged.
So, let not your heart be troubled!