Day 14 – Pam
Summary of Chapter 14
“Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.”
These are good verses for evil days – to remember and commit to memory. Jesus reveals that, somehow, as followers of Christ, we have been given authority over our hearts to not let them be troubled. This isn’t meant to be a robotic attempt to put our heads in the sand, but a faith-based state of heart that we can rest assured in the knowledge that God ‘sees all and knows all’ and has a bigger picture for us one day. This is echoed later in John’s shorter letter,
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:20)
Think! If the outer walls of the new heavenly city are going to be 200 feet thick (Revelation 21:17), and made of pure gold, imagine the quality, detail and wealth of the personalised homes and inner bespoke rooms that Jesus has prepared for His kids!
Verses 5-14: Despite the first 4 verses, there remains a sense of exasperation/disappointment in these verses, but I love how Jesus takes time to underline who He is and what He has to say. In fact, His whole life’s example is of continually referring to the fact that He and the Father are one. “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father” is His response to Philip’s request in verse 9. Jesus had and continues to have the weight of Heaven at His disposal, so we can have very confidence in Him as we look to Him.
Verses 15-28: The Holy Spirit is promised by Jesus as our answer to the anxiety, fear and confusion in the world when things seems to be out of control and radically different to what we thought was going to happen – The Advocate Whom the world can not accept, (verse 16). As we daily hear in the media of things that alarm and upset us, it is easy to fall into a state of anxiety and fear. Worse still, when we hear of shocking things that are declared to replace Truth from those who have a voice from within the established church, it is easy to feel unsafe and vulnerable. BUT, we have the Spirit of Truth who lives in us. We are not abandoned or left alone. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life; no man comes to the Father except by Me.”
As Romans 8:11 says,
And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.
Key thoughts from Chapter 14
- In this chapter Jesus recognises the confusion and even panic that the disciples are experiencing as they listen and try to understand all the information that they are hearing from the Master. The disciples were probably thinking to themselves and having conversations with one another, about what they had thought and even expected to happen as a consequence of Jesus being in their lives. Now everything was about to be turned upside down and all their hopes and expectations were being stripped away as they were listening to what Jesus was telling them. In their anxiety and distress Jesus attempts to allay their fears, but everything that they hear will have been filtered through their state of rising concern, and in their minds they have further questions arising from the information Jesus is giving them.
- The disciples were human beings just as we are. Hopes, dreams, expectations, fears, misgivings, strengths and weaknesses, but they were hand-picked by Jesus who already knew them perfectly. They had to respond to the invitation He gave to them, but once they had made that choice they were on a journey of getting to know the Man Jesus and the life He was offering them. In this chapter they are still under instruction and they were finding this lesson a bit difficult to understand, let alone them being able to embrace the implications.
- Jesus knew they loved Him on the level that they knew Him, but from verse 23 onwards He is trying to encourage them up to a different level of “knowing”, and the major key to this “knowing” is obedience. Often we struggle with this concept as it brings us into conflict with our own desires and priorities, but if we can grasp the truth that obedience is a releasing principle, a doorway into a more fruitful walk of faith, a liberating lifestyle, I think we could resolve some of the frustrations we experience. Jesus did exactly what the Father had commanded.
“PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU, MY PEACE I GIVE YOU, I DO NOT GIVE AS THE WORLD GIVES. DO NOT LET YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED, DO NOT BE AFRAID.” v27 (cf. v1)
- No matter what is going on in our lives today, here and now or at any time, these words of Jesus are a strong foundational principle to cling to, rely on, adhere to, act upon and believe.
Prayers from Chapter 14
Lord I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief. Amen