There are far fewer phrases more frightening to most people, right? How many times have we heard someone say, “Trust me” when there was a 100% guarantee of success? Chances are, that answer is “none of the time.” After all, we wouldn’t say “Trust me” if there was no doubt involved.
Yet, our Lord says, “Trust me.”
Is it because He has a chance of failure? No.
It’s because we have our doubts, hesitations, ideas, and stubbornness.
As we cross into John 14 in our study through John’s Gospel, the setting remains the Last Supper (where we’ve been since John 13 and will be until John 17). It’s been a strange night. Jesus washed their feet, told them He was going to be betrayed, Judas was identified (and departed), and He told them He was leaving.
Being Passover, it was meant to be a celebration, but this was far more muted—even somber. Then our Master says in John 14:1-3:
“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 that you also may be where I am.John 14:1-3
New International Version
The “you” in these verses are plural; He’s speaking to all of them. They had just heard very hopeless words: one of them would betray Him—it ended up being Judas. And Peter, their bold and courageous leader (besides Jesus, of course), was just told he would also betray Jesus by disowning Him.
They had reason to be hopeless.
But into this hopelessness, Jesus spoke hope.
On the eve of His death, He took the time to reassure His disciples it would be all right. What would your mental state be if you knew your betrayal and death were mere hours away?
Jesus was restful.
He tells them that the belief reserved for God the Father is also extended to belief in Him. His words previously had shaken them up—it had troubled them. The imminence of the crucifixion would have been troubling for anyone.
Jesus told them to NOT trust in the power they see in the world but in the power of God. The power and purpose of God prepared them for this moment. It also continues this subtle shift where Jesus teaches them that it is BETTER for them if He goes away.
How is it better?
First, Jesus would be preparing rooms in His house for Christians (verse 2). The “Master Builder” was leaving to prepare a place for His children.
It’s unfortunate we have been ingrained with the concept that we’re promised a “mansion.” The Greek word here translated as “rooms” is not a mansion, but a “dwelling place,” “apartment,” or “room.” We are not promised to be millionaires in Heaven. We are promised a seat at the King’s table. But He is still the King, not us.
Second, Jesus would come back personally to take us to be with Him (verse 3).
As Westerners living in the 21st century, we might miss how beautiful and hopeful these words are. These are the words of a loving groom to His bride.
When a man would become engaged to a woman—engagements back then were much more permanent than today—he would go build or purchase a house. When the house was ready, he would return to the bride’s house where the rest of the wedding ceremony would occur, then take her to the home he has prepared where they would consummate the marriage.
These are words of hope. This is a reason for hope. Jesus did not go into all the details of His return, but He made the guarantee that His return was as certain as His departure.
We have been waiting for over 2,000 years for His return. But let me remind you again: The promise of His return is just as assured as the reality of His departure.
It’s easy to stop here. There’s a lot of hope here, but it’s not escapism. We’re not guaranteed a life of ease or that Jesus will come to save us from every calamity we face.’
No. But we have the incredible promise of the Lord that our hearts do not need to be troubled. We can put our hope in Him. We can trust Him.
In what ways have you trusted in the hope Jesus provides?