John 14:1

Verse of the Day Devotion: John 14:1

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” – John 14:1

Just before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knew His time to leave was coming.  “Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” John 13:1.  And because of this, He was preparing them for His departure.  Therefore, after Judas left to betray Jesus, He lets the remaining eleven know.  “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.” John 13:33.  This was very difficult for the disciples to accept.  Think about this, for the past three years He had spent almost all His time working with the disciples training them for the work He was calling them to, which was making disciples of all nations.

But Peter was confused.  “Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later. Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” John 13:36-37.  He first asks Jesus where He was  going, and after receiving the answer He follows up with another.  “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” John 13:38. Peter asks Jesus if he could go along.  Notice it was can I follow and  not can we follow.  He was obviously asking this in an impetuous manner, not thinking about it before asking.  However, Jesus follows this with a question.  “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.”  John 13:38. 

Jesus understood this conversation left them unsettled.  They obviously did not like what they heard.  But Jesus, seeing this is the case, said the following. “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1.  However, Jesus does not stop there.  “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”  John 14:2-3.  He lets them know that He will be going away and they cannot immediately follow.  However, He adds that one day He will come back and bring them to where He resides. 

I know for myself that there are times I wonder why things have to be the way they are, just as the disciples did when they were told this good friend and teacher was going away and they could not follow.  And I feel confident that many times you also have experienced these times as well.  Ours is a little different in that Jesus is not physically here as He was with the disciples.  However, this does not negate the fact that His response to them is the same for us.  We should not let our hearts be troubled by the many things that we encounter, for our time here is just as temporary as theirs.  Jesus told them that He would come again and take them with Him, so that where He is they will be also.  And this promise applies to us as well.  In fact, it applies to all who have given their lives completely to Christ and have accepted the work He did on the cross.  This is the future for all Christians, eternity with Christ.  Remember this when difficulties come, that not only is He here to help us through these difficult times but when our time here is over He will take us home to be with Him forever.

So, as Jesus told His disciples, do not let your heart be troubled.  Believe in Him and be comforted with the fact that He will always be with us, both here and in heaven, our eternal home.  He is coming back.  Let you mind and heart always focus on this.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

John 14:27

Verse of the Day Devotion: John 14:27 

“Peace, I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” – John 14:27     

The words ‘peace I leave with you’ or various similar phrases, were used by the Jews to open and to close a letter, conversation, or any form of communication.  In this instance, it was used as a closing statement, however, not just regarding this conversation.  His time here was drawing to a close and He began preparing them for His departure.  Note the next few verses.  “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe.” John 14:28-29.  However, in the next sentence, He becomes more clear regarding His leaving.  “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me;” John 14:30. 

Jesus here is preparing His disciples for His departure, and I am sure they understood this and thus were becoming anxious.  “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.” John 14:25.  In this statement He is alluding to the idea that He is preparing to go.  Note ‘have spoken while abiding with you’.  However, the next phrase makes it clearer.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26.  The Holy Spirit will come after He departs and will remind them of His words. 

Then He gives the customary salutation, ‘Peace I leave with you.’  He wants them not to be troubled by this, for this is what He has been preparing them for.  He then reiterates this by stating it is His peace He gives them.  Jesus wanted them to have the same peace He had, which came through His friendship and fellowship with the Father.  It is what He wanted to give them before He leaves.  He then adds, ‘not as the world gives do I give to you.’  Many times when the Jews either opened or closed a conversation, they would simply say it because it was customary and polite.  These would be empty words they did not actually mean.  However, He was telling them He meant what He said.  Therefore, He urged them not to let His leaving, and ultimately their ministry He called them to, trouble their hearts or make them afraid.  For the Holy Spirit will be sent to them to be with them.  Again, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” Paul urged His brothers and sisters in Christ also to remain at peace, and he also showed through living accordingly.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7.  Jesus would provide this peace to them for He never spoke empty promises.   

Jesus here was speaking directly to His disciples; however I have no doubt He is speaking to us as well.  He wants us to have peace in this life just as He had peace during His time on earth. Through His word He speaks to us just as clearly as He did to the twelve.  So, let us accept and live the peace He gives us.  And the way we do that is by not allowing ourselves to be anxious about anything, knowing He is with us.  “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19.  Trust Him in everything.  There is nothing anyone can or say against us that God has not known from the beginning.  And He is already doing what is necessary to help us through.  If we genuinely believe this with everything we are, and live accordingly, then we have nothing to be concerned with.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.