Reading: John 14:1-6
Verse 1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
Since the triumphal entry during the palm parade Jesus has spoken to the disciples about his impending death, Judas’ betrayal, and Peter’s denial. Into this heaviness Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” While we may think this encouragement hard to live out, especially when our lives feel a great heaviness, Jesus goes on to tell us and the disciples why we/they shouldn’t be troubled of heart.
Death, betrayal, denial – they are not the end of the story. They don’t have to be the end of our story either. Oh yes, we can let them be the end, or at least feel like the end. Again Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” There is hope in death, reconciliation in betrayal, and redemption in denial. Jesus first invites us to trust in God and in him. There is a bigger plan at work in all of this heaviness. For and with Jesus, none of these things has the final say. That’s what he’s talking about in verses 2-4. He’s soon on his way to heaven. Once there he prepared a place for you and for me. And, when the time comes, Jesus himself will “take you to be with me.” Death ends in eternal life, in victory. But what of betrayal and denial and all of the other sufferings and trials and hardships that befall us?
Into all of this other heaviness, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” In the midst of it all, Jesus is the way through. Lean on him, trust in him, rely on him. He’ll walk with you through the darkest valley. In moments of temptation or when facing a difficult decision, turn to the truth. Listen to the Holy Spirit, mine the scriptures, pray. He’ll guide and protect, he’ll lead and strengthen. And when you’re hurt by betrayal or some other human shortcoming, look to the model of mercy and forgiveness. Channel what Jesus did on the cross for your sin into that relationship that needs healing and reconciliation. His love will heal all wounds.
Prayer: Lord God, you are our only hope in this life and for the life to come. Thank you for showing us the way and for being the truth. Thank you for all you do for us now in this world. Amen.