Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
On the surface, this statement seems pretty stright forward. Jesus is talking to the remaining eleven of His inner circle, the ones whom He would charge with the task of following in His footsteps and the work of the Gospel. They were caught in the moment, not having any idea of the things that lie ahead. You would think that after all this time spent with Jesus that they would all have a well founded belief in who He was. However, they are bothered with the same limited view of Jesus as many of us today. Sure, He is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, a powerful Man of God. Like Moses, Elijah, and or Isaiah… to these men, Jesus was chosen to do special things. he was a servent, sent by God. There was no effort necessary to believe in an all powerful, unseen, and mysterious God… but Jesus was right there… walking among them in plain sight. There had been men before who were known to preform wounderious things… but they were all men.
Maybe is not a big word, yet, it sets in motion an endless state of confusion. With it comes the treshold of a troubled heart. At issus is a heart trying to reconcile what is and what should be. An issue that if not resolved will eventually lead to a heart in trouble. The eleven men present with Jesus placed high hope in Him as the promised Messiah… but at this moment in time it is still just hope. They had not seen a Kingdom restored. Jesus was not seated on the throne of David. The enemy still ran free. While they believed in God, where Jesus was concerned… it was just hope. A high hope that they so much wanted to turn into belief… but a troubled heart stood in the way. There was fear in their hearts. Fear that death would dash their hopes and leave them wanting. Remember the remark made by Thomas just before they departed to attend to Lazarus.
… Let us also go, that we may die with him.
Death still held a sting, and with it the defeat of all hope. Even the hope of Jesus. The fear of death was enough to make void the faith necessary to see Jesus as something more than just “A Man of God.”
How often do we take the position that we find Jesus’ friends standing in?
Does fear and a troubled heart open the flood gates of confusion?
Do we sometimes loose sight of Jesus and what He really should be to us?
If truth be told it happens more often than we care to admit. It’s probably why Jesus began with this statement… to believe in Him also. Unlike His disciples, and us today, He knew what was ahead. Jesus forsaw the panic and terrior that would accompany His death. He knew the fear and anguish that comes when your hope has seemingly been torn apart. Jesus knew that the one thing that could turn their sorrow to joy was to share the peace He had in being confident with the promise of the Father… even in the face of death.
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you befor it come to pass, that, when it come to pass, ye might believe.
Jesus would be rejected by the masses, taken captive, and nailed to the cross. Like other men, Jesus would experience the physical reality of pain, suffering, and death. There was also the emotional uncertainty of what these things would be like. Where He might have been unsure of these outcomes… there was no doubt about the outcome of having faith to believe in God. After all, He entered into the world with the experience of having been present with God befor the foundation of its beginning. Who better to carry out the task at hand, and to do so in perfect peace… the peace that surpasseth all human understanding. Just as no man before Him was so equipped… no man until Him was qualified to be accepted. To ask His men to believe in Him was asking alot. It requiered an increase in and an anchoring of… their faith. It would also requier His pease to keep them grounded in the face of fear. It came by way of a promise that would only take three days to unfold. A promise that solidified the Gospel and galvanized their faith forever. Jesus told them that He would go away… that is to die. Yet He assured them that He would come again unto them… raised up. He would be risen from the grave… not by the hand of man, or even a Man of God. Jesus would be raised by the hand of God Himself… setteling the depth of the relationship and His place in it.
To believe in Christ has ment many things to many different people over the years. There are many differing denominations and doctrines the world over. I don’t think that Jesus wanted us to be divided or confused about our beliefe in Him. I simply think that He wanted us to rest assured that a beliefe in Him was as good as a belief in God. That He and the Father are one and that His promise to prepare a place for us in His fathers House is one that we can stand on. It may be difficult at times but He has also promised the manifestation of His power on us. I for one am greatful of His promises. Each and every one is given in love. If we can believe that, the rest is but a walk in the park.