Pondering John 14:15-31
You can click HERE to read the passage.
Here at the end of chapter 14 Jesus comes full circle – He reiterates what He said at the beginning, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.” (v.1 and v.27). The word “let” catches my attention. We LET our hearts be troubled…
- We let our hearts be troubled by the past and things that have already happened.
- We let our hearts be troubled by the present and stuff going on right now.
- We let our hearts be troubled by the future and things that haven’t even happened yet.
Our hearts don’t have to live in a state of troubledness – we LET our hearts be troubled. Note again verse 27:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
The prescription for a troubled heart is peace. But not the kind of peace that the world offers. The world offers peace in the form of money, or drugs, or sex, or health, or success – all of which can give you temporary peace. But Jesus offers peace that can withstand the most troubling circumstances that the world. The kind of peace that will last. He offers it in Himself. He is the Prince of Peace. He is the incarnation of Jehovah-Shalom, God our Peace. Shalom is one of the great words in the Hebrew language.
Back in November of 2010 I wrote a blog post discussing this word. Here is an excerpt that will help you understand the power of knowing the Peace of God. It deals with the story of Gideon in Judges 6.
Gideon had only one thing going for him: God called him. God addressed him this way: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” (Judges 6:12) There was nothing in the natural to suggest that this was true. Gideon replies back to the Lord; “O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” (Judges 6:15) He was just being honest. It sounds like Gideon was more realistic than the Lord in his self appraisal. In fact, when God appeared to him he was threshing wheat in secret inside a winepress so as not to be observed and possibly attacked by the Midianites who were riding roughshod all over Israel.
God saw Gideon differently than Gideon saw himself. God saw the secret weapon with which he had equipped Gideon: HIMSELF. God said; “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.” (Judges 6:16) Oh my goodness, the stark terror that Gideon must have felt at that moment! I know I would have wanted to go running in the opposite direction with my ears covered. Probably as a delay tactic, Gideon asked for a sign about who was really speaking to him and then begged to prepare a meal for his guest. He probably hoped no one would be there when he got back with the meat and bread.
But God was still there, waiting, when Gideon returned. The Lord told him to lay the meal on a rock as an offering and pour the broth over it. Then God touched the sacrifice with the staff in his hand “and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread.” (Judges 6:21) Then he disappeared. Now Gideon understood beyond all doubt that he had been talking face to face with Jehovah. That scared him worse than what God was calling him to do.
So the Lord said to Gideon, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die.” And then Gideon built an alter in that place and called it THE-LORD-IS-PEACE: Jehovah-Shalom. Why did the Lord reveal himself as PEACE at that time? Why not “The Lord is Courage” or “The Lord is Strength”? I think it is because the Lord’s peace is so profound that it overcomes every other consideration. Peace was the real thing that Gideon needed. Peace is the real thing each of us needs when we are up against the wall. (This excerpt is from another bloggers post found HERE)
“Father, in the midst of this troubled world and in the midst of all my troubles, would You today reveal Yourself to me as Jehovah-Shalom. I need Your peace to sustain me and enable me to live as light and salt in a troubled world.”
Next Week – John 15:1-17