Read John 13 -- 16
In Today’s Reading:
Jesus washes the disciples' feet; Jesus foretells His betrayal; love Commandment; Peter's denial foretold; Jesus foretells His death and second coming; Holy Spirit promised.
One of the most comforting thoughts that Jesus left with us is: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. . . . I go to prepare a place for you . . . I will come again, and receive you to Myself. . . . Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you: not as the world gives. . . . Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:1-3,27).
These precious promises were given to the eleven disciples on the last night before Jesus was crucified. At that moment, their hearts were "afraid and troubled" because He had said He was leaving them. They were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. Along with the multitudes, they had shouted: Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel (12:13). But recently, Jesus had said: Now is My Soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour (12:27). He also had said that He must suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and Scribes, and be killed (Matthew 16:21). The apostles were especially confused and troubled at hearing that one of their own number would betray Jesus (John 13:21).
The picture is much clearer to us 2000 years later as we read the full story. However, like the disciples, occasionally, each of us is faced with troubles and fears of what tomorrow may bring. That is when we too need to remember that the Lord knows how to take care of our tomorrows. We too can have the utmost confidence in our Lord's comforting words: Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me (14:1).
Following His resurrection, Jesus questioned Peter: Do you love Me? Peter replied: Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You (21:17). Peter knew that he had sinned when he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man (Matthew 26:74). Perhaps, if doubting Thomas had heard Peter deny his Lord, he would have called Peter a hypocrite. However, Peter was far from being a hypocrite. Jesus knew that Peter had a genuine love for Him. We too can be thankful that Jesus knows our hearts. Too often our fellow men, as well as ourselves, judge from outward appearance.
When we find ourselves facing financial loss, divorce, disease, handicaps, and "things" that do happen to believers who are living to please the Lord, we need to remember that He said: Let not your heart be troubled.
Every disappointment can become an opportunity to overcome stress, fear, and depression, and to develop our patience as well as our faith in God. It is not necessary to know why we are in the midst of unpleasant circumstances. But we can be certain that, whatever the Lord permits is needed to develop our spiritual character, so our question should be: "What can I learn through this?"
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you: But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings (I Peter 4:12-13).
Thought for Today: Oh, how much we need to become more aware of the ministry of the Holy Spirit!
13:10 but not all = all were clean except Judas; 15:2 purgeth it = cuts it back.
For John 13:18: See Psa. 41:9. John 15:25: See Psa. 35:19; 69:4.
Pray for your church · Country: Cape Verde (405,000) 15 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 390 miles off the coast of Africa · Major languages: English and French · Religious freedom · 91% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Believe that what God promises, He will bring to pass (Genesis 15:1-6 & 21:1-3).
Memory Verse for the Week: John 10:5