“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 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….
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. …
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14: 1-3, 6, 15-18, 25-27
After last week’s message, which seemed somewhat heavy, we need some good news this week! This passage begins and ends with – “don’t let your heart be troubled.” Why would your heart be troubled: confusion, sorrow, maybe anger, death and loss, changes and surprises in grief, and so on and on. Between the bookends of “Don’t be troubled,” are words like believe God, preparations and a whole lot of togetherness: He with us, us with Him.
The Father has a house with many guest rooms which are ready for guests – and we’re invited. When it’s time, He comes to escort each guest home – your child already, you at the right time. Between now and then, Jesus promises to send us Someone – called by several names: the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not willing to leave us alone, like an orphan. He provides us with an Advocate and Comforter. One of the functions of the Comforter described here is to teach us “all things” – like how to live through this grief! You don’t have to do it alone. He will come to you.
Jesus gives us this promise of a home ready for us and this promise of Someone to be with us through all we go through. He gives “not as the world gives.” That means He gives freely, without mixed or selfish motives, generously. There is only one small condition – that we listen and follow Him. Considering the benefits (home and His presence) it’s not a big cost to us. The result is Peace. Not trouble in your heart, but Peace there. Even through this grief. Peace.