"Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1).

The scene for today’s discourse is the Last Supper. Jesus gives this reassurance to his disciples who are saddened by what he had said to them in the preceding chapter. He predicted Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denial and his imminent death.

There is some anxiety as the disciples ponder their next move given the fact the Jesus will die and they will be alone. They are in a state of bewilderment and we can appreciate their deer concern. The disciples are human and their feeling of loss is real. Jesus recognises their anxiety and offers them words of comfort and peace. "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.”

The words ‘believe in God, believe also in me’, can be interpreted ‘trust God and trust me’. Jesus reminds the disciples that he will return and take them with him to his Father’s home. Not in a literal sense, he speaks of their spiritual life, which is theirs because of their relationship with God. Jesus is saying to them, ‘you will not be alone’. This thought follows: “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever: (John 14:16).

“Let not your hearts be troubled.” The reason why we should not be afraid is not that Jesus is going to take away all the bad things from our lives, but that the present condition of evil is a temporary experience. This too shall pass. We have to understand today’s Gospel within the context of the resurrection. It echoes the theme of Easter, the victory of Jesus Christ and his triumphant return to his exalted position.

The gospel reading is an invitation to us to trust Jesus who is the source of life and the way to God.  The text does not ask us to reaffirm our faith in God but to place our confidence in his divine power. It asks us to live with the conviction that all will be well. As persons whose faith is in the risen Christ we know that for the believer it is always well. “Whatever, my lot, thou has taught me to say it  is well, it is well with my soul.”

Jesus ‘reassurance to his disciples is mentioned again in verse 13. ” Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray in keeping with his character and divine will. Many persons misunderstand this verse and see it as a blanket statement that God will give them whatever they want. The text teaches that God will give us what is in keeping with his will and whatever brings glory to his name.

The Gospel readings for the Easter season all reinforce the message of hope-all will be well. “Let not your hearts be troubled.”

Very often, this passage is used at funerals and we can appreciate its popularity because of its comforting message. It gives us courage and strengthens our wills in the face of adversity. The message of this text is always relevant and it speaks to us whenever we are faced with unpleasant situations. Let not your heart be troubled, trust God and trust me.

The passage concludes with a reference to pray. In many instances all we can do is pray for strength to ride out the situation. As we pray we trust God to help us and do what is best. A familiar hymn tells us to take everything to God in prayer. We must not try to face life alone, in our own strength we are unable to change the situation, it is only by God’s grace that we can turn the adversity into an opportunity.

In whatever situation we find ourselves the Gospel reminds us of this basis truth. This too shall pass. 

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