Eleven faithful men remained with the Master while one went to betray Him for a handful of worthless coins. As soon as they were alone, Jesus revealed to them His upcoming plans.
He would go to the Father by way of the cross. He had to leave them and they could not follow. As much as they might want to go with him, they must stay behind.
That was the plan. But, it left them with so many questions.
What would they do without Him? Who would lead them? Who would comfort them? Who would correct them?
Let not your heart be troubled…
Not wasting any words, He spoke these only hours from being betrayed. He will soon be left completely alone, unjustly arrested, falsely accused and convicted.
He’ll be beaten unmercifully. He’ll be tortured. Tortured.
Roman soldiers will strip him naked and force him to carry the instrument of his own death to the place of execution. There they will nail, not tie, his hands and feet to a cross, suspend him for all to see and then wait for him to die. They will rail on him and gawk at him. They’ll spit on him and curse him.
Though sinless, he will endure all of this for those eleven men.
The crowd will mock him far more than the real criminals hanging beside him. They’ll hate him worse than murderers and thieves.
Now, consider this, Jesus knew all of this that night. He dreaded those next few hours so badly that blood seeped from his pores rather than sweat.
But, knowing all of this, that night he looked at his eleven closest friends and told them not to worry, about what would happen to them.
Let not your heart be troubled….
Not his. He wanted to make sure that they would be alright. He didn’t think about his own condition. He didn’t consider all that he would have to bear. He thought about their needs, about their sadness and confusion and loneliness.
That’s love. That’s genuine concern for others. It’s leadership and it’s what a savior would do.
You want to know how I probably would’ve started John 14? “I’m not looking forward to this. My heart…”
Not Jesus. His first thought was your heart, not his own.
It was then and it still is now.
So, breathe deep.
He’s still thinking about you. Don’t let the cares and the sorrows of this world overshadow those two small words. …your heart…
When nothing makes sense, when you feel abandoned by everyone, when that news comes and literally knocks your breath away, take a firm hold on those two words and do exactly what Jesus told those eleven men to do.
…believe also in me.
Those guys didn’t have any trouble believing in God. They were Jewish. They knew the real depths of Psalm 23. They knew there was one God and that He was all-powerful.
Well, right there in that moment, Jesus looked at them and reminded them of all that. Then, he told them to believe in him, like they believed in God. He wanted them to trust him, not to jump to conclusions. He had a plan, then.
He still does.
Breathe deep and believe.