“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”-John 14:1
Anxiety filled the room. Judas had gone off into the night after a tense interaction with Jesus. They were all left wondering what had happened and what was going to happen. Jesus told them he was going away and that they could not follow, even though they had been following him for three years. They looked around at one another, filled with confusion.
Jesus looked at them, his eyes filed with compassion. Knowing their hearts, he said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” In other words, Jesus was telling them, “Men, I see your anxiety and confusion. Don’t worry. I’ve got this.” He knew that they did not need a lecture on the theology of justification; they needed to know that he understood their anxiety and that he would not let them down.
Too often, we provide intellectual rationalizations for people’s hurts, but in our pain we do not need a well-reasoned theology of suffering; we need a person. Any theology that is not based upon the person of Jesus Christ is useless. Jesus did not minimize the severity of what was happening; that would have been disingenuous. Rather he said, “Guys, I know you’re scared, but the father and I, we’ve got this.”
Jesus, fears assault me again and again–fears of abandonment, fears of loss, and fears of hurting people, or being hurt by them. When I feel afraid, I clamor for answers and explanations, when what I really need is you. Let me rest in your presence, knowing that your strong arms will never fail me. Amen.