The Remedy for Troubled Hearts
John 13:21 – 14:1
John 14 – 17 begins with Jesus telling his disciples not to let their hearts be troubled. His teaching over these chapters is all they need to accomplish this. To set the scene, we need to reach back into chapter 13. Jesus is with his disciples in an upper room. It is the hours before his arrest, and the night before he dies. Jesus has shared a meal with his friends, and he has shocked them by washing their feet, a hugely demeaning act for a teacher to do.
Read John 13:21-38
Jesus drops a bombshell. What’s about to happen (v 21)?
He has been hinting at this before (see v 18), but now he is explicit: one of this number will betray him. This sends the disciples into a tailspin, so they nominate someone to ask Jesus who the culprit is.
In verses 26-30, it becomes clear. Judas is the betrayer.
But then Jesus drops an even greater bombshell…
What does Jesus say is about to happen (v 33)?
This is devastating. They have been with Jesus for three years. Some of them have left jobs to follow him. Jesus is their world. He is the figurehead. Without him they are nothing.
What will happen to Peter (v 37-38)?
How would this make the disciples feel, do you think?
Peter, for all his bravado, is going to deny knowing Jesus. Not just once, but repeatedly. This, too, is devastating. Peter has always been the strong one. If he can’t pull through for Jesus, what hope do the rest of them have?
Do Not Be Troubled
Read John 14:1
This triple-whammy is the backdrop for the start of John 14. We can now see why the hearts of Jesus’ friends are deeply troubled. Their world has fallen apart in the space of a few minutes. The Jesus they have come to depend on seems to be abandoning them.
Have you ever felt as though God had abandoned you?
Many Christians have. There are times when we feel spiritually alone—when God seems very distant and far removed.
What does Jesus tell them to do?
But not just any belief. Specific belief. Belief, or faith, in God. More than that, they are to have faith in Jesus. Belief in God isn’t enough. Vague monotheism isn’t going to help them. Jesus is. So they, and we, need to listen carefully to all that he’s about to say.
Ask God to use these devotionals to soothe your anxieties. Pray that God would help you to understand Jesus and to be changed by what he has to say.
Timothy J. Keller is an American Christian pastor, theologian, and author, born on September 23, 1950, in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a Presbyterian family and attended Bucknell University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1972.