“Everything’s going to be all right. Don’t worry.”
We have all said those words to someone at sometime.
We have all meant those words.
It has also been true that after you said that, things got worse and there was more to worry about.
We say those words because we want to make the people we care about feel better. We say those words for them, but also for us, because we want things to be better ourselves.
The problem is that most times we have no power or pull to make things better. We are only expressing a wish of ours as a truth. Unfortunately that means we make promises that we can’t keep.
As a parent, we tell our children, Don’t worry, everything’s going to be all right.” There comes a day when your children, either younger or older will respond with a question, “How do you know?” That can’t see any end or any good out of this situation. “How do you know that everything is going to be all right?’
And they’re right. We can’t. No matter how much we try, we have to admit our powerlessness.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
Jesus isn’t saying, “Don’t be troubled,” as if he is saying, “Don’t let yourself become troubled. He is saying, “Don’t be troubled any more.” Those who are worrying and fretting, don’t worry anymore.
Troubled no more.
Troubled no more.
In the text, Jesus doesn’t say, “Don’t worry. Everything will be alright.” Everything isn’t going to be all right. Bad things are going to happen.
What he is saying, though, is that when bad things happen, don’t be troubled. Don’t be disturbed.
Believe in God, believe in me.
How is this possible? How can Jesus tell us not to be troubled, what gives him the authority?
Jesus suffered and would suffer more. He would die for us. We read:
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
If he was faithful in this life, he will be faithful in the next.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Many sermons have been written about this. Maybe you have a version that says, mansions.” The key isn’t how big the place is. The key is that there is a place for us. Plain and simple.
When Jesus died. That was important event. Don’t leave Jesus on the cross.
Jesus rose again. Don’t leave him outside the empty tomb or in the upper room where Jesus appeared.
Jesus ministered to the disciples and then ascended into the heavens. DOn’t leave Jesus on the mountain or in the clouds somewhere.
Instead, remember that Jesus, body and soul, are in heaven at this very time, and he is preparing for His return and our full restoration into God’s presence.
We should be troubled not more, because Jesus doesn’t give us empty promises that we can’t keep. He actually can keep us from eternal home. He has a plan for us to be in his presence.
There is more than enough room, we can be assured that Jesus will come again and take us to be with him. Not only that, but he tells us where we are going.
He says, “Let not your hearts any longer be troubled.”
More than enough room
I will come back for you and take you with me.
You know how to get there.
Thomas and Philip don’t think that Jesus has been clear enough.
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus gives this guide. He is the....
The way, the truth, the life.
The way, the truth, the life.
How can Jesus tell us not to be troubled? He has gone through it all. Remember that God’s comfort has it’s power through Christ’s suffering. We understand that everyone’s life is different, but there is nothing that we can experience that Jesus hasn’t experienced himself.
Some of you will be taking Driver’s Ed this summer. Who would you rather learn from? Some one who has read the manual and memorized it, but has never driven a car? Or, would you prefer someone who actually has driven a car and knows how it works.
Jesus is both. He has written the manual, but also followed it perfectly.
Jesus is the “beginning, the middle, and the end.”
John Calvin gives the helpful explanation. That in the the beginning, Jesus shows the way. Just like someone giving us directions, he points us in the way that we are to go.
Along the way, in the middle of the journey, we are affirmed with the truth of his words and his guidance. We see what Jesus says as truth, not only because he has the authority to tell us, but also when we follow his way, his direction shows that he is right.
Finally, Jesus is the end, because when we go the way that he shows us and we travel in the truth of his direction, we achieve fullness in our lives. We can experience the blessings of God in this life, but also the fulfillment of Jesus’ direction. We are provided with the blessing of eternal life in him.
Jesus shows us the way from the beginning, leads us in truth (blessings) in the the middle of our journey, and leads us to our end goal—in his eternal presence.
That’s something we all need to figure out. We need all three. We can know the way, but if we don’t live in the truth, we can’t find life.
We might read the Bible and get some guidance about truth, but unless we believe in Jesus as the source, we will never find the life.
If we don’t know the way or the truth, we will never know that there can be a better life in Jesus.
If we are no longer supposed to be troubled, what is the best way for us to achieve that.
We need to....
See God at work, working through you.
See God at work, working through you.
Philip didn’t think he could see the Father, even though Jesus had been living with them and teaching them from the moment he called them. Jesus essentially tells Philip, “Don’t make it so hard, the answer is right in front of you!”
The ultimate Sunday school answer. How do we see the Father? Jesus!
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
If that was hard enough for Philip to understand, he goes on.
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
Jesus is telling the disciples that to know the Father is to know Jesus, but he doesn’t stop there.
Jesus says one more thing that is hard for us to understand at first glance.
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
Do you think that you can do greater things than Jesus? We wouldn’t dare make that claim. So, what is Jesus saying?
None of us can be a greater teacher than Jesus. We can’t do miracles as Jesus did. Jesus perfectly and powerfully did many things that we can’t imagine doing.
So what does Jesus mean?
What happened to the church after Jesus ascended into heaven? What happened to all the believers? Did the small group of the disciples and Jesus-followers eventually die out—either by persecution, lack of belief, or old age?
No, through the power of the Holy Spirit, God used people, believers to be a part of and grow his church. It grew from being simply a break off group of Jews to a billions of people, Jewish and Gentile—people of every nation. God has done great things through his people.
If we want assurance and the knowledge that we no longer have to be troubled, start doing the work of Jesus—not for your own benefit. The bible is not a self-improvement guide. Your faith is not a comfortable pillow that we can rest on. Salvation is not an insurance policy that lets us kick up our feet.
Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Grow in your faith, but bring others in as well. Grow deeper in faith. Train your children in the Lord, but always have an eye out for those who need to hear that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.
There are many rooms.
When we start to do this, we begin to see God at work—God at work in the world, God at work in our lives, God at work in the lives of others. What drives your vision? Fear of losing or the excitement in knowing that when we start working for the Father’s will, he begins to do things that we could never do ourselves.
That’s foolishness in eyes of some. That’s fearful for many others. Yet, in Jesus it is faithfulness. When we move together in faith, we not longer have to be troubled. We know the way, the truth and life. See God at work in you. Amen.
praying to God the Father, in Jesus’ name.