“Do not let your heart be troubled.” (John 14:1)
Many of God’s people are familiar with the opening words of this chapter. But they may not remember that Jesus REPEATS these very same words again later, near the end of the chapter, in :27: “Do not let your heart be troubled.” It is as though He is “enclosing” what He tells us in between with these two commands; that in between them we find those truths which will help our hearts not to be troubled. What are those things? WHY, in light of what He said, should His disciples’ hearts not be troubled?
— First, He tells them in verse 2, they need not be troubled because they have a home in heaven: “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places”
— Then He gives them another reason: because He has made a way to that home in heaven — in fact, He IS the way there! (:6)
— They can also have comfort because the ultimate pursuit of the universe is theirs: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (:9)
— They needn’t worry, because the work of the Kingdom is not going to suffer in His absence; they will do even greater works when He is gone (:12)
— They can be comforted because He will give them what they need in prayer (:13-14)
— And because He is sending the Holy Spirit (:16) to be their Helper (:16a); to be with them forever and not leave (:16b); to be IN them (:17); to give them assurance (:20 “you will KNOW”); and to teach them all the truth they need (:26). They can be comforted because Jesus is not really “leaving” them; He will come back to them, and will in fact be IN them through His Holy Spirit: “We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (:23)
So having given them all these reasons they can have peace, Jesus then repeats His command: “Do not let your heart be troubled.” There were so many specific reasons why His little band of followers should not be discouraged, and why they should have peace. And those same reasons are true for His disciples TODAY!