What would you consider to be the hardest commandment in the bible to follow? Some seem to struggle with “Thou shalt not lie”, having made a habit out of imbellishing the truth. Many kids today chaffe at the commandment to “Honor their father and mother”, growing up in a world where media and the culture constantly attack the role and importanct of parenthood.
The truth is, the bible is full of commandments (not just the 10 commandments that we like to quote from) and each have their own struggle as we battle the flesh in our desire to obey God rather than man.
In our text today, Jesus gives us another commanment, in . He says “Let not your heart be troubled”. At first reading, it sounds more like a request, but actually what Jesus is telling is is “STOP BEING TROUBLED”!
This reminds me of a skit that I watched while teaching a biblical counseling course. A young lady comes in a counselors office looking for help from an issue she was battling. He asks her what the issue is, and she says that she has a fear of being buried alive in a box. This fear keeps her home most times, not wanting to be in anything boxy, like a car, a bus, a building, a house… you get the picture. So the counselor tells her that he has 2 words that will help and if she would apply them, they would change her life. As she leans in to hear these sage words of wisdom, he sits back in his chair and says “STOP IT”. Just Stop being afraid, stop being confused, stop worrying, Just “STOP IT”
Many of us can relate to this woman, Not that you have an irrational fear of being buried alive in a box…but we do have fears. We find ourselves confused at times. We are anxious. We get news from the Doctor that sends our lives crashing down. We have financial troubles. We have marital troubles. We have troubles with our kids and grandkids. The future can be a very troublesome concept in many of our minds because we don’t know what is going to happen...
Let not you heart be troubled…Those words in themselves are powerful. They speak to the very core of our beings. To be troubled means to be in a state of confusion. And you only need to turn on your TV or Radio to see how confusing our world has become. The foundations on which our society have stood for years are crumbling. The line separating what is right and what is wrong is becoming more and more blurred. So to read these words for scripture holds special significance to us today.
These words were spoken by Jesus immediately after He had told his disciples that he would be leaving them. He would be betrayed by one of his own, and even Peter would deny Christ. You can imagine how this revelation shook these men. They had followed Christ for 3 1/2 years. They had left family, and careers and even their own religion to follow Him and now they are hit with this Mack Truck, Jesus will be leaving soon.
Are you there with them? Can you feel the fear, the confusion? Where will they go, what will they do? I thought that this was the messiah and would be here forever. He had come to lead them to a victorious battle over the romans and set up his Kingdom where they would rule and reign with him! They had staked their future in Him, and now, soon, he would be gone.
So Jesus says, Let not your heart be troubled “STOP IT”!. But unlike the couselor in our story, he doesnt stop their. He begins to teach them truths that would help the not be troubled. Promises for them to focus on that would settle their hearts and their minds in a very confusing and worrysome moment in thier lives. I would venture to say that all across this sanctuary today, there are troubled hearts. We are anxious about tomorrow, things aren’t turing out how planned. Let the words of Christ this morning bring you comfort and peace this morning as we take a few moments and study “Christ’s Cure for a Troubled Heart”.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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 unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
Before be begins these promises, Christ makes a statement. Ye believe in God, Believe also in me. He says the same faith that you put in God and His Word is the same faith that you should be putting in Me and My Words. He was drawing them in, settling their minds on a central truth that they had to come to grips with before any of the next few words would have the power that He intends for them. Believe. Place your faith in ME!
Then he goes on to tell them about a home that was waiting for them. He says in my Father House, there are many mansions. To help us understand what he is talking about, we must first answer the questions “What is the Fathers House”? Many have translated this to mean heaven, which is where God abides, but if we look closer at scripture, we see that every time “The Fathers House” is mentioned, it is the temple being discussed. The place of service and worship for Those who had placed their faith in God. The Mansions that are mentioned have been the subject of hymns and songs and sermons. To think that Jesus is preparing us our own personal mansion and has been doing so for 2000 years is a great thought, but what his word was translated so from the original greek so long ago, It simply meant a room.
These verse are a beautiful picture of the future that we have in Christ. The Church is the bride of Christ and is made up of all who have placed thier faith in Jesus.
He Chose Us
The #1 rule for interpreting scripture is Context. The 2nd rule is Context, the third rule is context. So in the context of this verse, what is being said. What was the disciples worried about? Christ was leaving them, but he was leaving them to accomplish something. He was going to prepare the way for us to have a place in the presence of God. His focus was Calvary, his steps would lead him to the cross, the way lined with his precious blood as it was spilled for you and for me. When Christ says, I go to prepare a place for you He is saying that He is making the way for them and for us to come to God through His shed blood.
He Paid Our Price
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Jesus had to prepare the way to God through calvary. As Paul says in Romans, our redemption does not come through the Law, but through Grace. It is not realized through our effort, but freely given to all those who believe.
Jesus was telling the disciples to stop being troubled. He was going to do what they could not do themselves. Christ made the way to God by way of the cross. Scripture tells us in that without the shedding of blood, there is not remission of sin! Remember, this was the passover that they were celebrating. For centuries, they had come together to sacrifice a spotless lamb, whose blood would cover their sin placing their faith in this sacrifice and the atonement that the blood would bring, and now the disciples are face to face with the lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world.
The Promise of redemption brings us hope in troubled times. Christ tells them be not troubled, I am going to prepare the way for you to have a place with God. This truth is one we can cling to when life throws us a curve ball. When confusion and fear sets in over what the future may hold. When we are anxious over some aspect of our life. Christ says, I have prepared the way for you. When life hits us hard, Follow His Steps to the Cross. We can find comfort and healing in the truth that we will find their. Our redemption from sin and this world, our future Home in heaven with Christ!
He Is Preparing our future home for us
“And If I Go” - His focus was the cross, his destination was the cross, he would be lifted up, crucified for you and for me. Paying the price for our sin. He would be buried, but praise God He was not going to stay in that grave. In the context of what is he is saying, “I will come again” He is saying that the grave would not hold him, he would raise in victory over sin, the grave and death itself. He would be the first fruit, whereby we can trust that there will come a day when we, who have placed our faith and hope in Christ, would also be raised together with him.
And if he d
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
Without the promise of the resurrection, all of our worries and fears would come crashing down on us with not hope for the future. While the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin, it is his resurrection that guarantees our hope in a home in Glory with the father!
He is Coming again to bring us Home!
Christ tells us in our text that He will receive us unto himself! This is a promise of the future resurrection that Paul speaks of where Christ will come, with the shout with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise. Jesus is telling his disciples that this life is not the end, They would rise with him and be recieved into his presence where they would have a place of service to God forever because the way was prepared for them through Christ work on the Cross!!
Jesus says that they knew where he was going, and they already knew the way. He had taught them for the last 3 1/2 years, preparing them for what would happen, but they still didn’t beleive. Look at what Thomas said. We don’t know where you are going, we don’t know the way.
And He begins this by tellus us the way.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
is one of the reasons why those who say that all roads lead to heaven cannot be true. This verse shows us that Jesus taught that He was the only way. That he was the source of truth and that he is the source of life. When he says no man cometh unto the Father, but by me, Christ was setting Christianity apart from all other religions.
It is only through the way prepared by Christ. Follow his steps to the foot of the cross. See the nails in his hands and his feet, the crown of thorns on his brow. See the blood flow freely down that was spent to “Redeemed” us by. Jesus tells them I am the WAY. I am THE TRUTH that will lead you to life everlasting. “I am THE LIFE”. The way to redemption at the cross, the truth of salvation and Christ atoning sacrifice, but he is the LIFE, HE IS THE RESURRECTION, like he told Mary and Martha at the tomb of Lazarus.
Jesus says dont be troubled, Because I have prepared you a way to live in the presence of God, to serve him for all eternity. He was going to prepare a place for us by way of a sinners cross, and a borrowed tomb.
This tells us that this is not the end! Christ promised that He would come again. The grave could not keep him. Death could not hold Him and because we know that Jesus is not longer in the grave but sits on the right hand of God the Father today, that no matter what this life holds for us, we can rest in the knowledge that this is not the end! For a Christian, there is coming a day when we too will rise in the power and resurrection of Christ, To Go HOME.
Jesus then helps them understand that they would not be left alone. One of the greatest fears that we have is the fear of being alone. The disciples felt this too.
Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
The Promised Advocate
The Promised Answers
The Promised Assistance
The Promise of Hope
What is it that gives a soldier hope on the battlefield. It’s Going Home. They endure pain and fear and hardships, with the hope that at the end of it all, they will be going to be with their loved ones. You see, Home brings Hope. When Jesus said “Let not your heart be troubled” he followed with the first reason that they should not fear, because Christ was preparing their way home. You and I can take this same lesson, when we fear, and are anxious and worried about the future, and like the soldier fighting on foreign soil, You can look for the time when you will be going home!