Thursday, May 3, 2012
On Sunday mornings between our two church services I meet with a wonderful group of college and grad-school age students. We have breakfast, share prayer requests, and study the Scriptures together. It is an inevitable highlight of my week.
For the past several months we have been talking our way through the New Testament book of John. A few weeks ago we arrived at the Last Supper.
The photo above is a piece of ironic pop art, won miraculously at a white-elephant party and displayed proudly in my office. I love it because it reminds me of this scene – remarkable in its density – where Jesus washed the disciples feet, led them in the original communion, promised them the Holy Spirit, commanded them to love, then went out and prayed for them (and us!). These stories can be found in John chapters 13 through 17.
Just hours before his betrayal, arrest, trial and execution Jesus gathered his friends together for this final meal. His friends, perhaps not fully aware of what was about to happen, were visibly stressed. Judas the betrayer had just fled the scene and the eleven remaining men were looking to Jesus for assurance, hope, and comfort. This is what he says:
John 14:1 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
The COMFORT in Christ’s Character
‘The answer to trouble is trust’, one writer said. Jesus senses his friends’ anxiety and writes them a quick prescription. He reminds them of the faith that has been growing in them for the past few years. He gives them a rock to stand on.
Our oldest daughter a) leaves her bedside lamp on as she falls asleep, and b) is a very light sleeper (no pun intended). Those two facts together present a nightly challenge for me and my wife: to tiptoe into her room and quietly turn off the lamp. On most nights she springs awake and Kelly or I will quickly whisper, “It’s okay Delaney… it’s me”, and she falls immediately back to sleep. After years of the same routine she has learned to be quickly comforted by the person behind the voice.
In their moment of distress, Jesus looks at his disciples – the eleven remaining men who have sacrificed everything to follow him – and says, “It’s okay guys… it’s me.” I’m asking you to trust me. Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Today -- may the PERSON of Christ be foremost on our minds. The more intimately we know him, the more inclined we are to trust him. May we be comforted by his love, challenged by his call, and chastened by his sacrifice.