Wednesday, March 28, 2007

IV. Jesus Isn’t Afraid

Please read Chapter 14 of the Gospel of John.

Jesus and his friends are still seated at the Last Supper. Jesus has expressed his own distress and has announced that one of them will betray him. But notice what he says to the disciples as Chapter 14 begins:

Let not your hearts be troubled.

What an extraordinary statement! He has every reason to be afraid, and he has said that his spirit is troubled. Nonetheless, he makes an essential statement of faith.

Notice the same two-fold movement we’ve seen already:

1. I am in the midst of trouble, opposition, and danger,
2. But I choose to remain faithful to the Father and not let my heart be troubled.

My human life may be threatened by those who don’t understand me, he says, but I feel the Father’s love poured constantly into my heart. And so, I’m not afraid, even though my spirit may be troubled.

This is easily said. Can it actually be done? Is it realistic? How can we do this?

We would need a trusting friend whose friendship fills us with strength and courage.

And in the next chapter Jesus offers his disciples just such a friend: himself!

This is a promise: Let not your hearts be troubled.

In your prayer and reflection, identify a circumstance in your own life when your spirit felt troubled.

How did you react?
Were you able to feel drawn to the Lord for strength and reassurances?

Based on this experience, how do deal – how are you dealing – with a troubled experience in your life?

Ask Jesus and the Father for courage and strength.

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