Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. –John 14:1 KJV
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world
ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. –John 16:33 KJV
“One of you will betray me.”
I’m sure these words spoken by Jesus in John 13:21 had a chilling effect on His disciples. Only six days before, at the home of His friends Mary, Martha and Lazarus, the Lord had told them the costly oil poured upon Him at dinner had been done “in preparation for His burial.” What?! His burial?!
Jesus had already spent a great part of the current evening discussing events to come and trying to teach—and demonstrate to them—the true meaning of servanthood. He had talked about leaving them: and now He was saying one of them would betray Him?
I don’t know about you, but if one of my beloved leaders had engaged in the same actions as Jesus, and spoken similar words, my heart would have been troubled as well! Not only troubled, but . . . afraid. And yet, how genuinely like our Lord to sense the disciples’ fear and uncertainty and console them by speaking words of comfort and reassurance.
Yes, He would have to go away, but He promised them He wouldn’t be idle. He would be preparing a place for them and described the splendor of His Father’s house—a house where they would someday live in mansions prepared just for them. Even better, He would never go away and not come back! Not at all. He was going to prepare this special place for them, and then He would come back to receive them unto Himself.
But before this departure, Jesus knew His time of trouble was coming, and He didn’t sugarcoat that fact. He would be “betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified” (Luke 24:7). Those who named the name of Christ would not be exempt. Indeed, Jesus informed His disciples in no uncertain terms that “in the world, you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
Especially comforting to me is the fact Jesus’ words were not spoken for the disciples’ benefit alone. His words extended from that fateful discussion forward to modern-day believers like you and me; people the Lord described as “those who believe on me through their word” (John 17:20).
Ready for more good news? Yes, He would be crucified—but on the third day He would rise again! Yes, believers can expect tribulation. Nevertheless, we can be of good cheer because our Lord has overcome the world. John elaborated later by saying, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (I John 5:4).
Do we live in troubling times? We certainly do. But let not your heart be troubled—we’ve got Jesus!