Come, Lord Jesus Come: Week 2 – Day 1 (A Love God Greatly Study)
Today’s Reading: 14:1-4 (SOAP verse 3)
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”John 14:1-4 NLT
Do you ever let your heart get distressed, which according to the oxford language dictionary, means extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain? – Before you answer too quickly, let’s look at some other synonyms for the word, such as worried, fearful, troubled, sad, tortured, and miserable. Please note that all of these fit the conversation of our text, where Christ has been talking to His disciples, telling them that one of them would betray Him, Peter would deny Him, and then that He would be leaving them.
Naturally, their hearts would have experienced at least one of these emotions. He was their friend and teacher whom they undoubtedly, trusted but had also come to depend on. No doubt their hearts would be distressed at the news that He was going away. Without question, fears, sorrow, anxiety, and pain would arise. Given time to dwell on it, their minds would become troubled, even tortured and miserable at the thought of it – and unable to think of anything else. So Jesus, knowing that they would have these emotions but not wanting them to dwell there, speaks out of love and compassion to encourage them. His encouragement is the promise that while they can’t go with Him now, He would be preparing a place for them and would return and take them with Him so they would always be together.
… I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.John 14:2b-3 NLT
While some of the synonyms and the word itself are defined, in part, as extreme sorrow or pain, I do not believe that Jesus is asking or encouraging them to be happy, but rather, He is calling them to be brave. It would be near to impossible to wear a facade of happiness in the death of one so loved and important to them, but they must rise above all of the emotions and be brave enough to continue on in His mission. I dare say without this encouragement (repeated until they finally understood it), they would have wallowed in depression rather than bravely pressing on as He called them to. Easier said than done? Without question! However, don’t miss that in His opening words of this passage, He gave them the answer to the bravery they would need. “Do not let your hearts be distressed. You believe in God: also believe in me.” In other words, ‘you trust God; therefore you trust me,’ for they knew Him to be “God.” John made this clear in his unforgettable statement in the first verse of His gospel, which reads: “In the beginning the Word already existed! The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Their bravery, and ours, depends on knowing and trusting Jesus as God.
Jesus not only told them how they could be brave but just after telling them He was leaving them, He explained why they needed to be brave with these words, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” Jesus had just called them to prove to or show the world that they were His disciples. Why? Because it would prove that they knew Him, which means they knew the way to the Father – which was the mission, showing the world the “WAY” to the Father.
What This Means For Us
As believers, we are Jesus’ disciples waiting for His return. Therefore, we are called to the same bravery and should, despite these tumultuous times in which we live, not let our hearts be distressed – overcome with fears and anxiety or the torture and distraction that can come from waiting on Him. Instead, we should bravely press forward to carry out His Mission to make the Father. and the “Way” to the Father, known. For, to quote the words of Paul, “But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” Romans 10:14
What do we know that we can share?
- We know the WAY.
- We know the love of Jesus and that it is meant to be imitated so that others will know Him too.
- We know that He died, rose from the grave, lives with God in Heaven, and WILL COME AGAIN!
- We know that when He returns, He will take believers to be with Him.
- We know that we will forever be with Him, where He dwells.
- We know that the “wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.“ Romans 6:23
- We know that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Joel 2:28)
Response to the Word:
Father, how very good You are to provide Jesus as the payment for the penalty of our sins. How awesome is His encouragement to the disciples that He is coming again and will take us to live with Him, where He dwells with You! We are blessed to be a part of this promise and look forward with HOPE to that day. We take strength from the HOPE in this dark and sinful world, where your Word is trampled on and Your ways mocked and ignored. We long to be with You Both, but we know Your agenda is that all would come to know You and that our agenda is to make You known. May we be found faithfully loving others as Jesus has loved us, proving to the world that we are His disciples and ultimately leading them to You. And in all of this, may You be praised and glorified as we wait on You! – AMEN!
Your Turn: Reflection Question
When Jesus was speaking about returning to Heaven, what did He say He was going to do there?