About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Jesus Comforts His Disciples  (ch. 14:1-4)

 

In verse 1 Jesus says, "Do not let your hearts be troubled.", or, as the Greek verb puts it, "stop letting your heart be troubled."  What just happened with Judas was not only troubling to Jesus but very troubling and very confusing to the disciples.  Jesus saw this and told them not to be troubled.  Things were looking pretty bleak to the disciples, but they would get better.   All these bad things had to happen.  They were all the plan of God.

Remember, the current theology of the return of the Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom was that there would be a man, not God in man, who would rise from among the Jews, lead a rebellion, and restore the nationhood of Israel to the Jews.  At this stage, what was happening did not fit into this theology at all.    

 

Then Jesus says this.  "Trust in God, trust also in me."  Some translations use the word "believe" instead of the word "trust."  Whatever the case, the Greek word translated as "trust" or "believe" here is the Greek present active indicative verb "pistueo."   This word is the verb form of the Greek noun "pistis" which simply means "trust."  The verb tense here states that right here in present time, the disciples were to stop fearing and start trusting.  The indicative part of this verb means this is a command.  It is not optional.    

 

These men understood to a degree what trusting in God meant.  Throughout Jewish history Israel was encouraged to trust in God, and one thing Jesus tried to teach these men was that He was sent by God and therefore they needed to trust Him as they would trust God.  Jesus was simply saying, "listen guys, I know youíre troubled, but just trust me through it all."

 

In verse 2, after telling the Eleven to trust Him, Jesus then tells them something they should trust Him for. He says that in His Fatherís house are many rooms, and that He is going there to prepare a room for them.  The KJV uses the word "mansion" instead of the word room as we see here in the NIV.  The Greek word here suggests a dwelling place or an abode.  I guess translating this as "mansion" or "room" is your prerogative.       

 

If there wasnít rooms in Godís house then Jesus would have long since told them that, but this was not the case.  Jesus was about to leave and go to be with His Father.  While there He would prepare some kind of dwelling place for these eleven men, and of course, for us too.

 

In verse 3 Jesus continues by saying if He is going to prepare a place for these men, He would certainly return to take them to this place.  I believe that Jesus is speaking of His return to earth here, although, there are some Pentecostal and Charismatic teachers who say that He is speaking of returning in the form of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.  They say this because of the verb "where I am" which is present tense.  In short they say that where Jesus is they will be, but be in spirit.  I understand this thinking, but I tend to believe Jesus is talking about His second coming.  This is the traditional view of this verse.       

 

Concerning the rooms or the mansions that Jesus is preparing; you might want to think more about this.  Is He in the human sense of the word building a room or a house for us in Heaven, or, is what He doing in Heaven at the moment simply preparing the way for our future home, which, if you read the last two chapters of the book of Revelation tell us is on the new earth.  Many Christians believe they will spend eternity in Heaven in big houses.  They believe this because of this verse. 

 

I believe the book of Revelation makes it clear that we will be spending eternity on the new earth, and not in Heaven.  So, I'm not convinced that Jesus is building rooms and houses for us in Heaven right now, unless, they are temporary dwelling places.  His present work in Heaven might well be paving the way for our future dwelling place here on earth.    

 

In verse 4 Jesus says that "you know the way to the place where I am going."  At this point the disciples were once again totally confused.  Why would Jesus say that they knew the place and thus the way to that places that He was going?  I doubt that Jesus didn't know their confusion on this point.  His statement might just have been the way to carry on the conversation and to straighten them out on this matter.   

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