Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today's passage:  John 14:1-15
     In the previous chapter, Jesus has just finished telling His disciples that He is about to die.  They are visibly upset.  Jesus starts Chapter 14 with words of comfort.  He tells them not to be troubled.  Then He tells them a little about Heaven.  He tells them about the mansions there.  I'm wondering why He tells them about this over every other thing in Heaven.  He doesn't talk about no pain or death (which is what He is about to go through), He doesn't tell them about how there will be no sadness there (which is what they are feeling), he tells them about the homes.  Why?  These men have been following Jesus for almost three years.  They had left their regular jobs, some of them had left families, they had left their homes.  Now Christ's ministry was at an end.  What were they supposed to do now?  They did not know what the future held for them.  They did not know that God was going to use them to spread the Gospel.  I think their greatest fear was, "Where am I going to live?"  They were wondering how they would make a living.  They had stayed in people's homes because they were Christ's disciples.  Nobody would invite them in now.  Jesus wants them to know, that even if they are homeless here, they have a home in Heaven.  And not just a place of belonging, but an actual house.  A big house too!
In my Father's house are many mansions--Taken from Standard Bible Readers, Book Two
By Lillie A. Faris, Illustrated by O.A. Stemler and Bess Bruce Cleaveland
Standard Publishing Company, 1925
     I just find it amazing that Jesus was about to go through such agony in a few hours, and He doesn't dwell on that, He doesn't discuss how hard it will be for Him.  He focuses on what is troubling His followers. It would seem that with everything about to take place (and the disciples have no idea what is about to happen) wondering where they would live would seem the most trivial thing to worry about, but not to Jesus.  He never finds a single care in our life meaningless, He never regards any of our feelings as irritating. 
     As a mother, how often have I trivialized my children's fears?  How often have I just said, "Oh, don't worry about that."  Jesus recognizes my fears, and helps me to overcome them.  He sees what troubles me and gives me comfort.  Do I really try to understand when my boys are legitimately afraid of something?  Do I try to toughen them up by telling them they shouldn't be afraid of those things?  Of course they shouldn't be afraid, but sometimes they just need to be told that I understand why they are.  Jesus did not give the disciples any evidence that their problems for finding earthly homes would be solved (in fact, they wouldn't need any) but He acknowledges their fearfulness and tells them about their certain future.  I may not always be able to offer a solution to the scary predicaments my kids will face, but I can assure them by taking their hand, and helping them along the way.
     The disciples might not have had a home on earth to return to, but they would be far happier in the one God had prepared for them.  And knowing that, was motivation to get them through some hard days ahead.

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