Pastor Kevin's Blog: Thoughts From My Burrow to Yours...
Do not let your hearts be troubled…
Comfort for the Disciples: Assurances Regarding Heaven
and the Second Coming (reprinted from Founders.org)
John 14:1“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You believe in God; believe also in me.
Following the experience of the last supper and the prediction of Peter’s betrayal, Jesus brought comfort to His disciples with His words regarding the reality of heaven and the certainty of His return. His command, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” suggests that the disciples were deeply perplexed and frightened in light of His previous discourse concerning His departure. Indeed, the word translated “troubled” means to be agitated or put in a state of great confusion. In the midst of such inner turmoil, however, the disciples were enjoined by Christ to “Trust in God” and to “trust also in me.” That is, their faith should rest in the one who is God in the flesh—the same one they had been personally called to follow.
2 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?
Further comfort is provided to the disciples with the promise that “In my Father’s house,” or heaven, the place where Christ was going, there are “many rooms.” The departure of Jesus from the earth following His crucifixion and resurrection would afford Him with the opportunity to return to the Father’s side where He would “prepare a place” for them. Here, then, the Lord promises these men that He will certainly see them again in heaven. His going away, therefore, would not usher in a time permanent separation from His beloved disciples but only a temporary period of waiting in hopeful anticipation of the final consummation.
3 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. 4 You know the way
to the place where I am going.”
Here Jesus connects the reality of His departure from the earth—“And if I go and prepare a place for you”—with the certainty of His glorious return—“I will come back and take you to be with me” (v. 3). The second guarantee, the promise of His return to earth, naturally depends upon the fact of His departure to His Father’s right hand. Simply put, if He does not leave, He could not return to “take” them back to His Father’s house where they will eternally “be where I am.” That the disciples do, in fact, “know the way and the place” where Christ was going (v.4) means that in knowing Him as they do they have all the information they need concerning His route and destination. To know Christ, then, is to know both the pathway (childlike trust and faith) and the destination (eternal life with the Father in heaven).
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
At this point, “Thomas” raised the obvious objection—“we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (v. 5). This question provided Jesus with the platform from which to make another explicit (and perhaps His most famous) declaration regarding His identity—“I am the way and the truth and the life.” This is another one of the seven “I am” sayings uttered by Jesus. Interestingly, each of the three words, way, truth, and life, are preceded by the definite article in the original language.
Jesus is “the way” – He does not simply show the way, but He Himself is the way to eternal life and the only bridge from holy God to sinful man.
Jesus is “the truth” – He is the very embodiment of truth itself as well as its infallible supply and spring.
Jesus is “the life” – He is also the sole source and giver of real spiritual life (as opposed to death and separation from the grace and mercy of God).
To summarize, we might say that since Jesus is the author of truth and the giver of life, He is able to serve as the only avenue of access to the Father and to the “many rooms” in the Father’s house.
I think having Jesus prepare a place for me in heaven sounds wonderful! Thank you Jesus…
Trail Thoughts # 6 (Marlene’s thoughts about the up coming hike)
Nothing is set in stone. Our plans can change at the drop of a hat. We had planned to start at Springer Mountain Georgia on 3-3-21 but looks like we will be a couple of days behind that. Our canine companion, Mochi, cut her paw on the chain-link fence outback of the parsonage. A couple of days rest and she will be fine. It’s a God Thing, I’m sure. Has given me a little extra time to sort some things out. God is so good!!
Looks like our pack weights are going to be right where they need to be. For “bounce” re-supply boxes are ready for drop off as we drive in, saving us postage. Yay! Also by waiting a few days, the weather has mellowed into the 60s for highs and 30s at night. The Smokey Mountains could be drastically different but we will be prepared for that too. And yes, Terry and Noreen... We will take a “zero” before the Smokies! A “zero” is trail talk for a day off the trail (a Sabbath!)
Watch over the preacher in my absence.
Blessings and Hugs~
Marlene (Caitlin & Robert too)