Recovering Biblical Sanity - John 14:1-14

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”
John 14:1


A Solution To Our Problems

Our hearts being troubled in this world is nothing new. How could it be otherwise? This world is troubling after all, if we are paying any attention. What is new, from Jesus here, is a way to deal with the trouble that surrounds us and arises within us.

Our default way through the trouble of this world is to numb, distract or indulge ourselves with various forms of entertainment, pleasure and achievement. The problem with these coping mechanisms is that they introduce new troubles or only serve to intensify the troubles they were intended to alleviate. John 14:1 is Jesus' proposed solution for troubled people like us, who live in a troubled world like ours, and in troubling times like these. But the answer is so simple and so beneath us that we will invariably find it surprising and most of us won't take it seriously.

Jesus' answer to the massive problems that ail us right now has no credibility in our halls of power. If you want to stretch Jesus' solutions to our troubles toward politics, than we could think of our answer as the democratization of belief in Jesus. Our way through these troubling time is to see and submit to Jesus as God, and to recognize and live right now as if he has come directly down to us from above. That's our only hope.

Now, trouble will still find us. But if trouble finds us while Jesus is with us, than we will simultaneously find the peace and rest that is offered in and through Jesus. Jesus is telling us that the clamor of this world is muted by the witness of Jesus himself among us, ministering to us directly.

What That Solution Suggests About Our Real Problem

If what Jesus is saying is true, and of course we believe it is, than unbelief in Jesus is the biggest threat you and I are facing today. A diminished or distorted view of Jesus is the most destabilizing development in our world. His smallness, falseness, or unnecessariness in our own minds and hearts, is the real trouble we're dealing with beneath all our presenting troubles.

If we perceived Jesus as he is in real time, and if we took him seriously as he is, we would sleep fine, breathe easy, laugh raucously, love freely and serve others fearlessly. So, what's holding us back? It's our diluted sense of Jesus. It's my thoughts and your thoughts that relegate Jesus to a somewhat competent Savior, a mediocre friend, and a pretty decent Lord. Such thoughts are not worthy of Jesus. He is a constant renewing presence in this relentlessly exhausting world. And the key to untroubling our hearts is Jesus himself... the total Savior that he is; the loyal friend that he is; the gracious Lord that he is. Jesus with me, in me, for me by faith.

So Crazy It Just Makes Sense

Everything else which Jesus talks about through John 14-17 flows out of this one thought in v. 1.

"Believe in God; believe also in me."

Any other starting place will leave us in the wrong place. Any other solution is just a new version of trouble or a new expression of trouble. And Jesus spends the next 12 verses or so tracing out this belief in God and belief also in him which he calls us to. He is articulating the oneness, togetherness, inseparableness, and total interconnectedness he has with the Father. All the way to saying that if we have seen Jesus, we have seen the Father.

Jesus is leading us out of our speculations and imaginations of what God is like. Jesus is perfectly revealing the Father's personality and disposition toward us, and he's fully expressing the Father's heart and intentions toward us, so that we don't have to guess or be afraid anymore. If there is no God at all, we have every reason to be troubled. If God is like what we imagine him to be, we have every reason to be troubled. Or if we know nothing of God and are just guessing we have every reason to be troubled.

Being troubled is the only sane response to this world if Jesus isn't real and the Bible isn't true. But if Jesus is revealing the Father to us, as he claims; if Jesus is pulling the curtain back on these ultimate realities as he asserts; than joyful confidence and peaceful durability is the only sane response to the troubles we encounter.

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