What beautiful words “Let not your heart be troubled” (Jn. 14:1, 27). But, the apostles were troubled because one of them was a traitor and then Peter was warned that he would deny his Lord three times. So, how did Jesus calm their troubled hearts? He did so by giving them wonderful assurances to lay hold of, assurances that we can enjoy as a believer in Jesus Christ.
To begin with, one day Peter would “follow” Jesus to the cross (21:18-19; 2 Pet. 1:12-15), and then he would follow Him to heaven. Jesus, speaking of heaven, was not speaking of religious imaginations. Heaven is described as an inheritance (1 Pet. 1:4), a country (Heb. 11:16), a city (Heb. 11:16), and a home (vs. 2). It is the Father’s house and in it are mansions, meaning rooms or abiding places (14:23). And, Jesus Christ is now preparing places for all true believers, and each place will be beautiful.
Now, when Jesus was here on earth, He was a carpenter (Mk. 6:3). But, when he returns in glory, He will gather His people to take them home to Heaven. And, one day, our Lord will return for His people. And, what a place of love and joy it must be. In fact, the apostle John used many descriptions and comparisons for how wonderful heaven is (Rev. 21-22). And, it is a place where there is no death, sorrow, crying, pain, night, etc… But, not everybody is going to heaven, but rather only those who have trusted Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). For, Jesus is the only way to the Father and no man comes unto the Father without going through Jesus Christ.
But, in vs. 7-11, we learn that we do not have to wait until we enter heaven to get to know the Father. We can know Him today and receive from Him the spiritual resources we need to keep going when the days are difficult. To “know” the Father does not mean as we may know a friend. “To know” is used in the same Biblical sense of the most intimate relationship between man and wife (Gen. 4:1), indicating a deep relationship. And, Paul confirms this in Phil. 3:10 saying, “That I may know Him.” And, it was Philip’s desire to know the Father even though Jesus was leaving soon. As you know, Philip had come a long way since that day Jesus found him and called him (1:43-45). And, the burning desire of every believer ought to be to know God better which is all the more reason to study the Word of God. As for Philip, it seems that he did believe that Jesus was in the Father and the Father in Him. This word “believe” is an interesting word in vs. 10-11 because the tense of the word means to “go on believing,” as if Philip was to continue to let his faith grow!
But, as one’s faith grows, we learn of the privilege we have in prayer (vs. 12-15). However, if God is going to answer our prayers and give us peace in our hearts, there are certain conditions that we must meet. In fact, the meeting of these conditions is a blessing in itself! We must pray in faith (v. 12). However, faith does not mean believe for one can believe in Jesus, but not confess His name, that is, not have enough belief to bring about a faith that will trust Him no matter what. But, faith is obeying him because we love him and whatever we do, must be done in the name of Christ, that is, by his authority, which includes our prayers. And so, praying in Christ name (vs. 13-14) indicates a wonderful privilege the child of God has and to know His nature, what He is and what He wants of us.
In addition to looking forward to heaven, knowing the Father and the privilege of prayer, Jesus had a great deal to say about the Holy Spirit in His Upper Room message, for apart from the help of the Spirit of God, we cannot live the Christian life as God would have us live it (vs. 16-18). We must know who the Holy Spirit is and what He does for us. He is called the Comforter (15:26; 16:7) and it means “called alongside to assist.” And, how wonderful it is that He is also called the Spirit of Truth for Jesus is the Truth (Jn. 14:6) and the Word of God is truth (Jn. 17:17). Thus, the Holy Spirit could never lie or lead us to do anything contrary to the Word of God. And, when the apostles were given such a promise that the Spirit would come upon them, He empowered them to accomplish God’s work. And so, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), He was given to God’s people to remain with them forever. And so, there is no need to have a troubled heart when the Spirit of God is with believer!
But, as Jesus was speaking all these things, in vs. 19-24, He focuses on His resurrection appearances when it mentions how the next time the world sees Him, He will come in power and great glory to judge lost sinners. And what a wonderful assurance it is that Jesus did not stay in the tomb. But, if we treasure and obey his word, then the Father and the Son will share their love with us and make their home in us. This means that as we yield to the Father, love the Word, pray, and obey Him, there is a deeper relationship with the Father, Son, and Spirit.
It is in this relationship that one has peace (shalom) and it is such a precious word (vs. 25-31). To some, it means wholeness, completeness, health, security, even prosperity. But God’s peace is not like the “peace” that the world offers. God’s peace depends on our relationship with him and our dependency in Christ. In the world, peace is something you hope for or work for; but to the Christian, peace is God’s wonderful gift, received by faith. It is a peace in spite of trials because Christians walk by faith instead of by sight like the world does. And, it is the Spirit of God that teaches us the Word and guides us through the truth, which gives us that peace, love and joy that calms a troubled heart (vs. 27).
Again, Jesus assured them that they would see Him again (vs. 28). And, how wonderful it is to have the Word of God before us, the Spirit working in us, the Saviour above us and the Father making all things possible! And, while in vs. 30-31, it speaks of us having two enemies: the world and the devil, Jesus overcame them both (Jn. 12:31) and therefore, Satan nor the world can get a foothold on our lives, unless we permit it. Neither can trouble our hearts unless we allow it. And, that is because Jesus showed His love for the Father and for the world by voluntarily going to the cross and laying down His life. God laying down his life for me and you. I say this because both Jesus and the Father are one (vs. 28).