A Gospel For Troubled Hearts: Part II John 14:22-27 Jesus gives answers to the disciples’ questions, which revealed their troubled hearts and ours: Let not your heart be troubled.
From the Gospel of St. John, chapter fourteen beginning at verse twenty-two, we read the final question the disciples asked Jesus when the Lord was preparing to leave this world and to leave His disciples. We have looked at three questions by three different disciples before – the question of Simon Peter, the question of Thomas and the question of Philip. We have looked at the answers to those questions that tell us the answers for a troubled heart in this world.
Now we look at the final question by one man called Judas, not Judas Iscariot.
Scripture Text – John 14:22-27
"Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
A. The Setting for Judas’ Question to Jesus
1. The Strange Question of Judas (Not Iscariot)
Notice the question. "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?"
This is a strange question coming from this man Judas who is not Iscariot. (It's a sad thing in a way that this man had to go through his entire life explaining who he was not). This is a strange question because Jesus has just said, "I am going to manifest myself and the Father is going to manifest Himself unto you." Jesus has told them that you will be on the inside track so to speak. There will be specific and real and genuine manifestations of God to your hearts. You will know Him. He will be a reality.
2. The Perplexity of Judas
But this man is troubled with the idea that God will manifest Himself to them, the disciples, and yet somehow the world won't know it. People won't see it. They won't understand it. What he really wants is a kind of real dramatic manifestation of God and His power and His presence so the whole world will be aware of where God is. They can look in any direction and say God is there. His power is here. His glory is here. What he wants is a kind of religion and a kind of worship that everybody can see.
3. The Desire for a Religion Others Can See
I think most of us at some time or another have had that kind of a desire – to have a religion that everybody could see and recognize when they saw it. You know down through the ages, through history, people have tried to build all kinds of systems that would do just that.
They'd say now when you see a certain style of architecture in a church you'll know that's where God is; or, when you see people dressed in a certain fashion, you'll know that's where God is. When you see people acting a certain way, you'll know that's where God is. They say, "That's the manifestation of God in the world."
4. The Desire of Judas
In other words, here's what Judas was saying. "Lord, how is it that you're going to communicate to the whole world that the Father has come in reality to visit His people. We want you to show yourself to us, sure. We want to see the manifestation of your power and your love and your grace to us, sure. But we want the world to see it too so they can recognize that you're with us, because we'll face those days when we're despised and we'll face those days when we're lonely and we'll face those days when we're troubled and we're weak and we want the world to look at us and say, 'There go the people of God. There are the disciples of the Lord. There are the disciples who obey the Lord Jesus and God has manifested Himself with them.'"
B. The Lord’s Answer to Judas (Not Iscariot)
Let's look at he answer to this problem of showing God to the world and identifying where God is and where He works and manifests His power. Jesus put it in clear terms and I want us to look at it and give attention to it.
1. Jesus Said, "Love Me!"
In the first place He said, "Love me." The people who love Jesus-they're the ones who receive the manifestation of God. They're the ones whose hearts and minds are open to divine supernatural manifestation of God and His glory. People whose lives are enveloped and wrapped up in love and adoration that reaches heavenward touch God. "Love me," He said.
Because you see, love is not love that keeps contracting itself with acts of disrespect and disobedience. Sometimes it grieves me and then sometimes I'm angered at that cheap way this world uses that word "love" now. Jesus is talking about a love that proves itself – that shows itself by keeping the words of Jesus. So, when you see a man who loves God and when you see a person who keeps and honors the words of Jesus, you can say, "There is where God is seen. There is where God is manifested in the world. There is someone on display who reveals to the world the Almighty God."
2. The Power of the Comforter
Then Jesus moved quickly in verse twenty six to teach again about the power of the Comforter, this mighty counselor, this advocate that is to stand along side us and give guidance and direction – to give meaning into life, to give strength and comfort through the rough places, to be a teacher that will reveal to us all the mysterious yet beautiful and wonderful things of God.
So many people like to quote that text that says, "Eye has not seen ear has not heard the things that God has in store for His people," and sometimes they just stop there. But oh, Paul didn't stop there. He says, "For it's been revealed to us by His Spirit" (see I Corinthians 2:9, 10). Hallelujah!
I want to tell you there is divine revelation going on in this world now. There is divine teaching that is being carried on by the Holy Ghost. There is divine instruction and divine comforting by the mighty Holy Ghost as He reveals God and reveals God's will to hearts of people who are opened to Him in this world now.
So he is saying, "The comforter, which is the Holy Ghost whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things." Is there a problem you face today you cannot find a solution to? Instead of frantically running to and fro pulling this one and pulling at this one and trying to reason in your mind and find the answers, why not slip away somewhere and fall on your knees before God and report for duty on your knees before God and wait there awhile and let the Holy Ghost minister to you. Let Him control your life and pray and intercede through you until you've touched divinity, until you've touched power, until you've touched the throne of grace.
If the church could ever learn the full impact of what it means for the Holy Spirit to minister to us and teach us, then we would bow in worship before God. We would cherish those times of getting together in a spirit of unity and fellowship and love like this. We would cherish those times of getting in the Spirit on the Lord's day and having God reveal to us His perfect and divine will for our lives through the Holy Spirit.
I'm saying to you today, the Holy Ghost stands about your life. He wants to reach in as the comforter, the counselor, the God, the teacher and just simply brush away your doubts and fears. He wants to still the nervousness of your life. He wants to put a soothing hand of the warmth of God's love upon you and warm you where you have cold shivers of doubts and fears.
He wants to come to your life where you're trembling with weakness and indecision and teach you what it means to believe God and to follow Him and to obey God's word. Let Him teach you today. Let the Holy teacher touch your life with miraculous divine power. Let Him minister to you and solve the very problems of your heart today.
Jesus is saying, "Anytime you see a person who loves me, it's a revelation of God. Anytime you see somebody who obeys my words, it's a revelation, a manifestation, of God to this world. Anytime you see somebody who lives in the Spirit, who has life in the Spirit, who walks in the Spirit, who is led by the Spirit, who is comforted and strengthened by the Spirit – that is a manifestation of the Almighty God in this world." Hallelujah!
You want a religion people can see? Then get wrapped up and filled with the love of God. Let it flow through your life. Obey His Holy Word and walk on the pages of God's Word. You want a religion somebody can see? Then get on fire of the Holy Spirit. Get filled with the Spirit and power of God and the world will know that God is at work there. Hallelujah!
3. The Fruit of the Spirit
Then He moves further. He talks about the fruit of the Spirit – in particular, His gift of peace and the power of love. He says, "It is my peace I give you." Oh, the turmoil, the anguish that goes on in lives today! Oh, the destroying forces of fears and doubts and indecision – those just eat at the lives of people, even Christians, these days! Jesus wants you to have His gift of peace.
I don't have to belabor the point. I don't have to talk to you about all the pills we take to soothe our nerves and to help us to sleep. I don't have to tell you about all the medicine we have – and our children see it there. Sometimes they experiment and they say, "Well, daddy and mother do this. Why should it hurt me?" I don't have to talk about that. You live in the midst of that kind of pressure and heartache and trouble day by day.
In the last few days in the block where I live, on one side is a family, caught up in the grief of a son experimenting with drugs. Down the street a man and his wife are at each other's throat – battling, separating, fighting. Everywhere you turn there is a spirit of unrest and a spirit of destruction and a spirit of hatred and a spirit of division that is sweeping across this land.
It floods us – even us, who hold on to God and attend the church. We're not exempt from Satan and his power. Satan seeks to destroy our homes, our lives, our minds, and take away our peace and our stability and our inward strength and character and tear down principles and love.
We need to come like John and lean on the bosom of our blessed Lord and love Him and pour out our souls in weeping and mourning until they're empty of self and confusion, until all is quite in our minds and we're left alone with the peace of God that passes understanding. He is our peace and you take Him out of your life and you have nothing but warfare and distress and trouble.
You take Jesus out of your mind and you'll lose your mind. Take Him out of your heart and you'll come to pieces. But Jesus said, "My peace I give you. Not as this world gives give I unto you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid." If you want to see God, if you want to see a religion, a manifestation of a religion that the world needs to see, then look at that child of God who has learned even in the face of storm and conflict to walk in the serenity – of the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. A New Commandment
Then Jesus capped in all off when He said, "I'm going to give you a new commandment. That commandment is that you love one another even as I have loved you." And He said, "By this shall all men know." "If you want them to know that you're my disciples, if you want the world to know you've got religion," He says, "By this shall all men know that you're my disciples."
I think some of us have never read the rest because we have thought it's because we've got the biggest church or because maybe we've got the most money, or because our name is what it is. Somehow we set priorities and get them turned around in a way that I think perhaps it grieves God. But He said, "If you want the world to know that you're my disciples, have love one to another."
When you see a man who loves somebody else in word and deed, you can say, there's God at work. When you see a life that's dominated and motivated not by selfishness but by unselfish love to others, there's God revealed. It is a revelation of God, friends, when we love one another.
You see, the Corinthians liked to boast of their religious manifestations and display and they could brag about gifts and prophecies and all kinds of things. But Paul wrote to them correcting, regulating, and right in the center of it he said, "All of this is no more than sounding brass and tinkling cymbals unless you have love" (I Corinthians 13:1). You must have that love that comes from God on high and flows through you.
Ephesus was a proud church. It could boast of its works and its labors and its ability to try impostors and find them out and cast them out. It had discipline. It had structure. It had strength. But Jesus said, "If you don't repent, I'm going to remove the candlestick from you because you left your first love" (Revelation 2:5).
What then is the answer for troubled hearts? The question that comes from the troubled heart of the Apostle Peter, "Why, why, why, Lord? I don't understand what you're doing and I don't understand what you want out of me." The answer comes ringing again, "Believe on me. Believe in God. Believe in a place that I've gone to prepare. Believe I'm coming again."
The answer to that troubled heart that looks at Jesus and said, "Lord, I've lost my way. I don't seem to know how to move one foot in front of the other. Lord, how do I get along in this world now?" The answer still comes ringing across the ages and falls on our hearts and ears this night. Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth and the life."
And the answer of Philip who wants to understand God and he can't unravel the mysteries of theology and he wants to understand the Father, Jesus says, "All you need to do is look on me. Believe my words and believe my works. Receive the power of the Holy Ghost and learn how to pray.
Then the answer here is, "Love Jesus, obey His words. Let the Holy Ghost work through your life. Bare fruit of peace and love." That's the cure my friends for a troubled heart even in this twentieth century in which we live. Believe with all your heart. Get full of the Spirit. Learn to pray. Walk with God. Live in the Spirit. Receive His peace. Bear the fruits and your doubts and fears and troubles will vanish away in His presence.
Jesus gives answers to the disciples' questions, which revealed their troubled hearts and ours: Let not your heart be troubled.
Find more sermons by