1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
After the Lord made the announcement that He was going leave, the disciples were bewildered. Now He turned to assure their hearts, which were “troubled.”
The events of chapter 14 occurred entirety in the upper room.
1 “Let not your [plural] heart be troubled;
Jesus just revealed to Peter in the previous chapter that he would deny the Lord three times but the address here is to all the disciples; “your” is plural.
Jesus’ disciples left their careers to follow Jesus; now He was about to leave them. Now their hearts were “troubled.” They feared that Jesus would abandon them. They had clear cause to be downhearted. Discouragement weakened their faith.
“Let not” is strong prohibition. The Greek also conveys the idea of “Stop letting your heart be troubled.” In other words, the disciples were already disturbed by Jesus’ statements in chapter 13. His prediction of His death and future trouble for the disciples threw them into a state of perplexity and troubled thinking. They experienced sadness because of what would happen to Jesus and perplexed that one of their own would betray Him.
Jesus knew that the 11 would come upon troubled times in just a few hours. He anticipated this problem by the exhortation of this verse. “Troubled” means to be agitated or stirred. On the night when the disciples should have comforted Jesus, He comforted them.
The biblical concept of “heart” is the core of the person’s will. It is the fulcrum whereby we either exercise our faith or not (Ro 10:10).
you believe [trust] in God, believe [trust] also in Me.
The 11 began to waver in their faith. If the disciples believed in the Father in times of crisis, they should also trust in Christ during troubled times. As the Father is an appropriate object of worship, so is Jesus. Add one trust to another trust. Belief in Jesus is not something additional to faith in God. Since He has the same characteristics as God, He should be believed just as we trust God. This is a statement of equivalence between the Father and the Son in their essence.
Jesus did not completely explain at this point why He must die on the cross; He did give some indications of this earlier in His teachings. Even so, Jesus demanded trust in Him without full explanation of the why.
Jesus is the object of our faith, just as trust in the Father is. To believe in one is the same as to believe in the other. To trust in the Son is to trust in the Father and vice versa. We cannot separate these two trusts. There is a bond between the two that no one can separate. This idea clearly shows Jesus is God almighty (He 1:1).
“Believe” or trust here has to do with reliance on the providence of God in our lives. This is not faith that things will result in what we desire; rather, it is trust in God’s wisdom, in His plan for creation. We can trust both the Father and Jesus as all sufficient for anything that may come our way within God’s plan. God’s design in this situation is for Jesus to go to the cross to save eternally those who believe on Him.
The disciples found the promises of God in the Old Testament to be a comfort for them. Now they were to accept the promises of Jesus in the same way. He said in effect, “I want you to believe what I am about to tell you; that is, I am preparing a place for you in heaven. And I am the way, the truth, and the life for an eternal relationship with God.”
Biblically oriented believers deal with their problems realistically and trust God through it all.
There is much Pollyanna Christianity in today’s evangelicalism. There is no place for Christians to operate in self-pity and expect others to pity their circumstance. Rather, they are to be people of strong faith that deal realistically with their problems.
There is no question that we face frequent troubles; however, it is no solution to pretend that we have no problems in life. We adequately deal with our trouble by accepting it as a reality. Jesus saw clearly that His disciples were about to enter into deep trouble in just a matter of a few hours.
We can slither around in a slew of despondency if we choose. We may think that God has abandoned us. Jesus’ challenge to us is to trust God and Himself through any situation we may face.
One of the first principles of dealing with our problem is to define it. With that starting principle, we can claim the promises of God and trust Him to care for us through life. We can believe both in the Father and the Son in this.
The remedy for a troubled heart is to trust in Jesus, to be certain of who He is. We get this assurance from His promises.
Faith countervails discouragement and anxiety. Anxiety is inconsistent with trust in God’s providence (Php 4:6-7; 1 Pe 5:7). Faith is no escape or avoidance to face reality. Rather it is confidence that God in His providence will work things out according to His purpose (Ro 8:28).