After the meal, it was all chaos and confusion in the upper room. It seemed that the group Jesus personally hand-picked, loved and trained, the group that had just enjoyed a meal together, was going to break away. Normally the strong and attractive personality of the leader unite the followers as a single body. But, in the upper room, the character and charisma of Jesus appeared to have had no sway on some of His disciples. Whoever Jesus claimed to have been, one of His disciples was going to betray Him. No matter what all ways He groomed Peter for leadership, Peter was going to deny Him repeatedly. To the total dismay of the disciples, their master was going to be killed, and that too through the most ignominious crucifixion.
No wonder, the disciples were confused and troubled. Probably, many questions rose to their mind. But the response of Jesus was surprising: “Do not let your hearts be troubled….“ (John 14:1) Why not? Was He Himself not troubled and ashamed at His failure in forming a loyal group for Himself? Was He not troubled and afraid of His own death? Was He not ashamed of leaving His disciples in the midst of a hostile community? Or did He think that the betrayal and denial did not need to be the determining facts and factors of those disciples? Did He hope that even after the betrayal and denial the concerned disciples could still reach back to Him?
To console His disciples Jesus speaks in terms of the endearing concepts and words of human life: house and rooms. We have sweet memories of our homes. Home is that which we all want to reach in times of troubles. In our home we experience love, peace, security, happiness, companionship, freedom…Jesus tells His disciples that even in times of troubles the disciples can have all sweet experiences of being in a sweet home, provided they believe in God and believe in Jesus. Belief is the determining factor. It is belief that takes us to the home of the Father. House of the Father is the place where the Father lives, where He is present. Going to the house of the Father means going to His presence. To live in the house of the Father is to live in His presence. It is in His home, viz., in His presence we have peace and happiness, true rest and security. It is in His presence that we find the absolute fulfilment of all our expectations for a lovely life.
It is good to be at the house of Jesus‘ Father, at the presence of God. But, how do we get there? The answer of Jesus is unbelievable! He says “I will come again and will receive you to myself” (John 14:3) It is really exciting to see that Jesus Himself will take us to His Father’s house. Don’t we have to do something to reach there? Jesus continues to say, “No one comes to the Father but through me.” It is by going with Him that we are taken to the house of the Father. It is when we abide in Him, abide by His word, following His foot steps that we are taken to heaven, the God experience, the experience of God’s presence with us. Sometimes this journey is troublesome, but it is a journey worth making.
Like the disciples, many a time our hearts are troubled. There are a lot of things that irritate and trouble us. We are perplexed by the number of issues to be settled; works to be completed; obligations to be fulfilled; promises to be kept; goals to reach…We are also ashamed by the number of times we have fallen and failed. The hurting experience of our friends and family cheating on us and deserting us open up fresh wounds of shame and sorrow. Like Thomas we groan, we do not know the way – way home, to rest and peace, to God and heaven. Like Philip we do cry that we do not know the Father either. Not knowing and believing the Father, not knowing that Jesus is the way to the Father’s home account for our troubles. In the confession of Thomas – My Lord and my God – we have the antidote of troubles prescribed by Jesus.