A Gospel For Troubled Hearts: Part IV
Jesus gives answers to the disciples’ questions,
which revealed their troubled hearts and ours:
Let not your heart be troubled.
We have been looking in the Gospel of John – more specifically at the questions
of four men in this period of private conference with the Lord. They are questions that
reflect troubled hearts. We have been talking about a Gospel for troubled hearts – "Good
News for Troubled Hearts."
We have looked at the questions and statements of the Apostle Peter who was
wrestling and struggling with the idea of the Lord being gone and his being separated
from the Lord and his desire to go with Him now. We have seen the question of Thomas
saying, "Lord, we don't know where you goeth and how can we know the way?"
We have looked at the answers to the questions of each one of those men and we
turn now to the third question that was offered to Him by Philip.
Scripture Text – 14:7-21
"If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth
ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father,
and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and
yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father,
and how sayest thou then, show us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the
Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself:
but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the
Father, and the Father in me, or else believe me for the very works'
sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do
shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my
Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. If ye
love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give
you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of
truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth
him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not
leave you comfortless; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth
me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall
know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my
commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me
shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."
A. THE SETTING
1. Philip's Desire to Know God
Coming out of the troubled heart of this disciple, Philip, is the desire to know God
more clearly, to understand Him – to see Him, actually. He is so much like so many of us.
There is so much I'd like to know about God. Do you have any questions tonight – what
He looks like or about His power? When the word "God" is mentioned, what kind of
picture comes into your mind? Do you think of a throne of glorious power and might or
do you think of the image of the picture of a father? What comes to your mind when
somebody says, "God"?
2. Philip's Request – "Show Us the Father"
Jesus has just said that He is going away and he says, "You have known me and
you have known the Father also. I have come to this world and I have introduced not only
myself but I have introduced the Father, the Lord God of Glory." But Philip can't grasp
that yet. He said, "Show Him to us and that will satisfy us. Let us see God."
I've mentioned before that all four of the questions of these four men have to do
with something they want to see with their natural eyes. They want to comprehend with
human understanding things that can only be comprehended by faith. They want to be
able to put their hands upon something that they can feel and touch and understand it
through their senses. Philip wants to see the Almighty God. He wants to see the Father.
3. The Desire for a God You Can See
He wants a God that he can see – a God that everybody can see. That's why there
is such a prevalence of idolatry in the world. People somehow have to have a point of
contact and identification point with a being that they worship. They want a God they can
touch and feel and they can see.
4. The God That Can't Be Seen
But the Word of God teaches us about the high and holy God that men cannot see.
As a matter of fact if they even look upon Him they will be blinded with His glory and
His grace and His power. The Bible says that no man has seen God at any time. But Jesus
then began to explain to the troubled heart and mind of this man that, "if you have seen
me, you have seen the Father."
5. Philip's Troubled Heart
Somehow Philip is still troubled. Because you see, Jesus has claimed to be the way
and yet His path is pointing toward the cross. He has claimed to be the truth and yet
there is not a religious leader in the whole community who would embrace His cause. He
has claimed to be the life and yet a feeling of foreboding hangs over that little shut-in
congregation and Jesus would be dead in twenty four hours. Confusion and trouble still
Then Jesus in order to answer Philip's question begins to talk about His
relationship to the Father. It's a beautiful teaching. He tells him that there are five specific
ways to understand God. There are five particular ways that you can see God and that
you can have your heart opened to understand Him – to understand our relationship with
Him and to Him so that your doubts and troubles can be cast aside and your faith can be
firm and strong. Let's look at those five steps briefly.
B. Five Ways to Know God
1. Know God By Knowing Christ
First of all He said, "If you've seen me you've seen the Father." You learn all you
need to know about the Father through Jesus Christ the Son of God. He was God in the
flesh who came to the world to reveal the Almighty. He was the living Word from
creation and from before the foundations of the world. He is that living Word through
which the Almighty communicates to mankind and makes known His power, His love,
and His redeeming grace.
He says, "So, if you look to me, the more you understand about me, the more
you'll understand about God. The more you love me, the more you'll love God. The more
you follow me, the more you'll follow God." That's what Jesus is saying. So I tell you,
friends, if you're wanting to understand more about the high and holy Almighty heavenly
Father, look to Jesus, our Saviour, our Lord. Believe on Him! Follow Him! Worship
Him! And God becomes more and more real. Hallelujah!
2. Know God By Believing His Words
In the second place He said, "Believe my words." It's enough for some people just
to go to the words of the Lord – just to go to the word of God and there from the Holy
Bible – from the word – they can get a glimpse and a picture and a vision of God that will
satisfy them. It's enough for a lot of people just to read the word and then have faith and
act on the word and respond to the word of God.
Oh, believe the words of Jesus. I wish that somehow we could learn the simple
kind of faith that that nobleman had. Because when Jesus said, "Your son is going to be
all right," that man without question turned on his heels and walked on the words of Jesus
– walked with faith, walked with understanding, walked in full confidence. He spent the
night and got rest and then made his way toward home the next day –
never doubting, never fearing, taking his time, not all shook up, not tense, not under pressure.
Oh, you hear me today! I want to tell you regardless of the problem, even if it's
death – regardless of the problem that faces your life, if it's sorrow or trouble or there is
strain and stress and pressure and worry, believe the words of Jesus. Stand on His holy
words and you can walk in faith and you can walk in His power and His strength because
He backs up His words. With His commands and with His words come also the authority
and the power to bring about anything He commands.
3. Know God By Believing His Works
In the next place He said, "The works that I do, it is the Father working through
me and you ought to believe on Him because of the works." Oh, thank God. This is a
sermon in itself, to talk about the mighty works of God – the works that are seen in
natural processes, the works that are seen throughout the universe and all the mighty
works of God in creation, all the mighty works of God in history, all the mighty works of
God in redemption. Oh, it would take hours to try to list the high and great and wondrous
works that He has performed through the ages.
Jesus said, "Believe the works that I do." I want to tell you, a lot of people these days
are wondering about God and if He really exists. I remember reading the
Philosophers and I have read the Theologians, and I have tried to memorize all kinds of
arguments for the existence of God. I have grown weary with that kind of exercise. I just
advise you, don't worry about that because the works of Jesus Christ today in the hearts
of people is living proof of the existence of God's power and His wonderful miraculous
When I see a man who was a liar or a thief or a drunkard suddenly overnight
transformed by the power of God, I say believe in the works of the Lord Jesus Christ and
you will know that God is on the throne and has power to save and redeem and transform.
I know there are some doubters and some critics who every now will point at
somebody who has fallen or backslidden, Go ahead; look at them if you want to. Keep
your eyes you want to. But for every man you can point to that and then or who is a
hypocrite. on people like that if t has gone astray and fallen by the wayside and had a
lapse of faith, I can point you to hundreds who have walked with Jesus through the fire –
stood in faith, been obedient to God, lived the life, and overcome because of the grace of
God in their lives. Hallelujah! Praise His name. I'm saying to you today, what Jesus
Christ does in the life of an individual is the greatest proof of the existence of God you
can ever know.
4. Know God By Learning the Power of Prayer
In the fourth place Jesus said, "Learn the power of prayer." If you will develop
prayer, He says," if you'll really mean what it means to pray, you will come to the place
that your doubts are gone. You will see God in His glory. You'll learn how to approach
His throne in faith and you'll come to the place that anything you ask the Father in my
name, I'll do it."
If the church ever learns to pray like Jesus, I want to tell you there will be a
demonstration of the glory of the Almighty such as this world has never witnessed. I want
to tell you if you're struggling with doubts and fears today, I want to tell you one good
answer. Prayer is a greater argument for the existence of power and grace and love of
God than all the arguments you can stack up and list in a book. Hallelujah!
Oh, the marvelous, glorious experience of Holy Communion with the infinite God
Almighty who fills the universe and touches our lives! Oh, what glorious wonderful
opportunity to come with boldness to the throne of grace!
Even though we're belabored and touched with infirmities, yet Jesus was just like us.
Because of that He said you can have boldness to come to Him. You can have boldness
and you can find grace to help in the time of need.
I tell you if there is no God, there are millions of stupid people all over the world
who are praying to Him. But oh thank God, when you know you have touched Him and
He has answered and things happened that couldn't possibly have happened – oh, you
faced the impossib le, you faced the dark valley and there was no way out and you fell
before Him imploring His divine will and intervention. He worked it out. He carved out
of your life the kind of person He wanted you to be through that praying and through that
process and you came to know Him intimately and you came to look at Him instead of
shrinking back in fearfulness as if the hand of judgment would strike you dead. You were
able to throw yourself prostrate at His feet with your arms reached out to Him, embraced
Him and His love and called Him Father.
Oh, Father! Oh, Father! I don't know what that word conjures up in your mind,
but I've got a wonderful old dad. It still thrills me just to throw my arms around him. I
still respect him and love him. There were times when he taught me things with a
chastening rod. He taught me the value of a good day's work. He made me rich because
he helped me to understand the value of one good day's work. With the rod of correction
he proved to me that he cared about my life and my soul and what happened to me. I
understand that part.
I understand the times when he went out of his way when my sister and I lay
dying with typhoid fever. He watched and my mother watched and they prayed. I
understand all the times he labored for what I could have. Father means something to me.
Then I think that because of Jesus we can come to the very throne and we have the spirit
of God that causes us to cry "Abba, Father." That means even more to me!
5. Know God By Receiving the Spirit of God
Jesus said, "If you learn the power of prayer you learn about God. You want to
see God? Believe in my word and believe in my works; and one more thing – receive the
comforter." He said, "I'm going to send you another comforter."
That word "another" is a translation of a Greek word, which means, "another of the
same sort that I am, another of the same kind." "I've been with you, I've stood by your
side. I've been your teacher. I've been your authority. I've been the presence out of which
you operated with authority and power in prayer and in preaching and teaching in this
world. You've been with me. You have seen me. You have felt me. But I am going to
send you another of the same kind – another comforter."
I wish I had time now to talk about that word "comforter." It's the translation of a
beautiful Greek title that has roots that just spread through out the Bible. Part of that word
"PARACLETES" reaches out and means comfort and consolation. There are themes of
comfort and consolation running throughout scripture. Why in the book of II Corinthians
alone, roots of that word are mentioned some twenty eight times – sometimes translated
comfort, sometimes consolation, sometimes beseech.
What I'm saying to you is that the Holy Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is the
fountainhead and source of all comfort and strength and grace and power. He says, "If
you want your troubled heart healed, if you want your questions answered, if you want to
know about God, receive the Holy Spirit and He will teach you and He will guide you
and He will stand along side of you. He will be your counselor and your advocate. He
will be your lawyer and plead your cause and plead your case. He will abide with you
forever. He's with you now and He'll be within you." Hallelujah, for the Holy Ghost.
Would you raise your hand and just praise Him.
Jesus gives answers to the disciples' questions, which revealed their troubled hearts and ours: Let not your heart be troubled.
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