18 May 2014

John 14:1-14

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” (v. 1)


The familiar words from John 14 are frequently heard at funerals, offering, as they do, words of hope and encouragement to those who are left behind. During this part of his farewell discourse, Jesus addresses the disciples' fears as they face his imminent departure, and he prepares them to live with each other in the world. Far from being abandoned, he reassures them that a place is prepared for them and they already know the way there. A room is waiting for them in God's house. Indeed, through Jesus they no longer have to travel, and they no longer have to wait: "If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him" (v. 7). Jesus is not just a guide to salvation: he is the source of life. The section is framed by commands to believe in God and believe in Jesus.

Too often loss comes upon us unexpectedly, and the pain can cut us deeply. We may have little time to prepare and, instead, find ourselves fearful and confused. In our grief, we may feel alone and abandoned. When a companion is no longer walking by our side, or when something that gave us a rhythm or purpose in our daily life disappears, it is easy to lose our bearings and stumble, disorientated, into each day. The world looks very different when we are suddenly on our own, missing that which is familiar or facing sudden change and concern about the future.

Like the first disciples, we are urged to believe in God and believe in Jesus. For, through God's gracious love in Jesus, there is a place for us.

To Ponder

  • In times of pain and loss, what helps you to believe and trust in God through Jesus?
  • What other words from the Bible help to give you hope and comfort?
  • What does the promise of a room in the Father's house mean to you?

Bible notes author

The Revd Nicola Price-Tebbutt

Nicola Price-Tebbutt is a presbyter in the Methodist Church. She has previously served in circuit in Sheffield and as a tutor at Hartley Victoria College in Manchester.