John 14:1
Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XIV.

(1) Let not your heart be troubled.—The division of chapters is unfortunate, as it breaks the close connection between these words and those which have gone immediately before. The prophecy of St. Peter’s denial had followed upon the indication of Judas as the traitor, and upon the announcement of the Lord’s departure. These thoughts may well have brought troubled hearts. The Lord had Himself been troubled as the darkness drew on (John 12:27; John 13:21), and He calms the anxious thoughts that He reads in the souls of the disciples.

Ye believe in God, believe also in me.—It is more natural to take both these clauses as imperative—Believe in God, believe also in Me. Our English version reads the first and last clauses of the verse as imperative, and the second as an indicative, but there is no good reason for doing so; and a sense more in harmony with the context is got by reading them all as imperatives. As a matter of fact, the present trouble of the hearts of the disciples arose from a want of a true belief in God; and the command is to exercise a true belief, and to realise the presence of the Father, as manifested in the person of the Son. There was a sense in which every Jew believed in God. That belief lay at the very foundation of the theocracy; but like all the axioms of creeds, it was accepted as a matter of course, and too often had no real power on the life. What our Lord here teaches the disciples is the reality of the Fatherhood of God as a living power, ever present with them and in them; and He teaches them that the love of God is revealed in the person of the Word made flesh. This faith is the simplest article of the Christian’s creed. We teach children to say, we ourselves constantly say, “I believe in God the Father.” Did we but fully grasp the meaning of what we say, the troubles of our hearts would be hushed to silence; and our religion would be a real power over the whole life, and would be also, in a fulness in which it never has been, a real power over the life of the world.

John

FAITH IN GOD AND CHRIST

John 14:1
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The twelve were sitting in the upper chamber, stupefied with the dreary, half-understood prospect of Christ’s departure. He, forgetting His own burden, turns to comfort and encourage them. These sweet and great words most singularly blend gentleness and dignity. Who can reproduce the cadence of soothing tenderness, soft as a mother’s hand, in that ‘Let not your heart be troubled’? And who can fail to feel the tone of majesty in that ‘Believe in God, believe also in Me’?

The Greek presents an ambiguity in the latter half of the verse, for the verb may be either indicative or imperative, and so we may read four different ways, according as we render each of the two ‘believes’ in either of these two fashions. Our Authorised and Revised Versions concur in adopting the indicative ‘Ye believe’ in the former clause and the imperative in the latter. But I venture to think that we get a more true and appropriate meaning if we keep both clauses in the same mood, and read them both as imperatives: ‘Believe in God, believe also in Me.’ It would be harsh, I think, to take one as an affirmation and the other as a command. It would be irrelevant, I think, to remind the disciples of their belief in God. It would break the unity of the verse and destroy the relation of the latter half to the former, the former being a negative precept: ‘Let not your heart be troubled’; and the latter being a positive one: ‘Instead of being troubled, believe in God, and believe in Me.’ So, for all these reasons, I venture to adopt the reading I have indicated.

I. Now in these words the first thing that strikes me is that Christ here points to Himself as the object of precisely the same religious trust which is to be given to God.

It is only our familiarity with these words that blinds us to their wonderfulness and their greatness. Try to hear them for the first time, and to bring into remembrance the circumstances in which they were spoken. Here is a man sitting among a handful of His friends, who is within four-and-twenty hours of a shameful death, which to all appearance was the utter annihilation of all His claims and hopes, and He says, ‘Trust in God, and trust in Me’! I think that if we had heard that for the first time, we should have understood a little better than some of us do the depth of its meaning.

What is it that Christ asks for here? Or rather let me say, What is it that Christ offers to us here? For we must not look at the words as a demand or as a command, but rather as a merciful invitation to do what it is life and blessing to do. It is a very low and inadequate interpretation of these words which takes them as meaning little more than ‘Believe in God, believe that He is; believe in Me, believe that I am.’ But it is scarcely less so to suppose that the mere assent of the understanding to His teaching is all that Christ is asking for here. By no means; what He invites us to goes a great deal deeper than that. The essence of it is an act of the will and of the heart, not of the understanding at all. A man may believe in Him as a historical person, may accept all that is said about Him here, and yet not be within sight of the trust in Him of which He here speaks. For the essence of the whole is not the intellectual process of assent to a proposition, but the intensely personal act of yielding up will and heart to a living person. Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all-sufficient for everything that I can require. Let us get away from the cold intellectualism of ‘belief’ into the warm atmosphere of ‘trust,’ and we shall understand better than by many volumes what Christ here means and the sphere and the power and the blessedness of that faith which Christ requires.

Further, note that, whatever may be this believing in Him which He asks from us or invites us to render, it is precisely the same thing which He bids us render to God. The two clauses in the original bring out that idea even more vividly than in our version, because the order of the words in the latter clause is inverted; and they read literally thus: ‘Believe in God, in Me also believe.’ The purpose of the inversion is to put these two, God and Christ, as close together as possible; and to put the two identical emotions at the beginning and at the end, at the two extremes and outsides of the whole sentence. Could language be more deliberately adopted and moulded, even in its consecution and arrangement, to enforce this thought, that whatever it is that we give to Christ, it is the very same thing that we give to God? And so He here proposes Himself as the worthy and adequate recipient of all these emotions of confidence, submission, resignation, which make up religion in its deepest sense.

That tone is by no means singular in this place. It is the uniform tone and characteristic of our Lord’s teaching. Let me remind you just in a sentence of one or two instances. What did He think of Himself who stood up before the world and, with arms outstretched, like that great white Christ in Thorwaldsen’s lovely statue, said to all the troop of languid and burdened and fatigued ones crowding at His feet: ‘Come unto Me all ye that are weary and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’? That surely is a divine prerogative. What did He think of Himself who said, ‘All men should honour the Son even as they honour the Father’? What did He think of Himself who, in that very Sermon on the Mount {to which the advocates of a maimed and mutilated Christianity tell us they pin their faith, instead of to mystical doctrines} declared that He Himself was the Judge of humanity, and that all men should stand at His bar and receive from Him ‘according to the deeds done in their body’? Upon any honest principle of interpreting these Gospels, and unless you avowedly go picking and choosing amongst His words, accepting this and rejecting that, you cannot eliminate from the scriptural representation of Jesus Christ the fact that He claimed as His own the emotions of the heart to which only God has a right and only God can satisfy.

I do not dwell upon that point, but I say, in one sentence, we have to take that into account if we would estimate the character of Jesus Christ as a Teacher and as a Man. I would not turn away from Him any imperfect conceptions, as they seem to me, of His nature and His work-rather would I foster them, and lead them on to a fuller recognition of the full Christ-but this I am bound to say, that for my part I believe that nothing but the wildest caprice, dealing with the Gospels according to one’s own subjective fancies, irrespective altogether of the evidence, can strike out from the teaching of Christ this its characteristic difference. What signalises Him, and separates Him from all other religious teachers, is not the clearness or the tenderness with which He reiterated the truths about the divine Father’s love, or about morality, and justice, and truth, and goodness; but the peculiarity of His call to the world is, ‘Believe in Me.’ And if He said that, or anything like it, and if the representations of His teaching in these four Gospels, which are the only source from which we get any notion of Him at all, are to be accepted, why, then, one of two things follows. Either He was wrong, and then He was a crazy enthusiast, only acquitted of blasphemy because convicted of insanity; or else-or else-He was ‘God, manifest in the flesh.’ It is vain to bow down before a fancy portrait of a bit of Christ, and to exalt the humble sage of Nazareth, and to leave out the very thing that makes the difference between Him and all others, namely, these either audacious or most true claims to be the Son of God, the worthy Recipient and the adequate Object of man’s religious emotions. ‘Believe in God, in Me also believe.’

II. Now, secondly, notice that faith in Christ and faith in God are not two, but one.

These two clauses on the surface present juxtaposition. Looked at more closely they present interpenetration and identity. Jesus Christ does not merely set Himself up by the side of God, nor are we worshippers of two Gods when we bow before Jesus and bow before the Father; but faith in Christ is faith in God, and faith in God which is not faith in Christ is imperfect, incomplete, and will not long last. To trust in Him is to trust in the Father; to trust in the Father is to trust in Him.

What is the underlying truth that is here? How comes it that these two objects blend into one, like two figures in a stereoscope; and that the faith which flows to Jesus Christ rests upon God? This is the underlying truth, that Jesus Christ, Himself divine, is the divine Revealer of God. I need not dwell upon the latter of these two thoughts: how there is no real knowledge of the real God in the depth of His love, the tenderness of His nature or the lustrousness of His holiness; how there is no certitude; how the God that we see outside of Jesus Christ is sometimes doubt, sometimes hope, sometimes fear, always far-off and vague, an abstraction rather than a person, ‘a stream of tendency’ without us, that which is unnameable, and the like. I need not dwell upon the thought that Jesus Christ has showed us a Father, has brought a God to our hearts whom we can love, whom we can know really though not fully, of whom we can be sure with a certitude which is as deep as the certitude of our own personal being; that He has brought to us a God before whom we do not need to crouch far off, that He has brought to us a God whom we can trust. Very significant is it that Christianity alone puts the very heart of religion in the act of trust. Other religions put it in dread, worship, service, and the like. Jesus Christ alone says, the bond between men and God is that blessed one of trust. And He says so because He alone brings us a God whom it is not ridiculous to tell men to trust.

And, on the other hand, the truth that underlies this is not only that Jesus Christ is the Revealer of God, but that He Himself is divine. Light shines through a window, but the light and the glass that makes it visible have nothing in common with one another. The Godhead shines through Christ, but He is not a mere transparent medium. It is Himself that He is showing us when He is showing us God. ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen’-not the light that streams through Me-but ‘hath seen,’ in Me, ‘the Father.’ And because He is Himself divine and the divine Revealer, therefore the faith that grasps Him is inseparably one with the faith that grasps God. Men could look upon a Moses, an Isaiah, or a Paul, and in them recognise the eradiation of the divinity that imparted itself through them, but the medium was forgotten in proportion as that which it revealed was beheld. You cannot forget Christ in order to see God more clearly, but to behold Him is to behold God.

And if that be true, these two things follow. One is that all imperfect revelation of God is prophetic of, and leads up towards, the perfect revelation in Jesus Christ. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews gives that truth in a very striking fashion. He compares all other means of knowing God to fragmentary syllables of a great word, of which one was given to one man and another to another. God ‘spoke at sundry times and in manifold portions to the fathers by the prophets’; but the whole word is articulately uttered by the Son, in whom He has ‘spoken unto us in these last times.’ The imperfect revelation, by means of those who were merely mediums for the revelation leads up to Him who is Himself the Revelation, the Revealer, and the Revealed.

And in like manner, all the imperfect faith that, laying hold of other fragmentary means of knowing God, has tremulously tried to trust Him, finds its climax and consummate flower in the full-blossomed faith that lays hold upon Jesus Christ. The unconscious prophecies of heathendom; the trust that select souls up and down the world have put in One whom they dimly apprehended; the faith of the Old Testament saints; the rudimentary beginnings of a knowledge of God and of a trust in Him which are found in men to-day, and amongst us, outside of the circle of Christianity-all these things are as manifestly incomplete as a building reared half its height, and waiting for the corner-stone to be brought forth, the full revelation of God in Jesus Christ, and the intelligent and full acceptance of Him and faith in Him.

And another thing is true, that without faith in Christ such faith in God as is possible is feeble, incomplete, and will not long last. Historically a pure theism is all but impotent. There is only one example of it on a large scale in the world, and that is a kind of bastard Christianity-Mohammedanism; and we all know what good that is as a religion. There are plenty of people amongst us nowadays who claim to be very advanced thinkers, and who call themselves Theists, and not Christians. Well, I venture to say that that is a phase that will not last. There is little substance in it. The God whom men know outside of Jesus Christ is a poor, nebulous thing; an idea, not a reality. He, or rather It, is a film of cloud shaped into a vague form, through which you can see the stars. It has little power to restrain. It has less to inspire and impel. It has still less to comfort; it has least of all to satisfy the heart. You will have to get something more substantial than the far-off god of an unchristian Theism if you mean to sway the world and to satisfy men’s hearts.

And so, dear brethren, I come to this-perhaps the word may be fitting for some that listen to me-’Believe in God,’ and that you may, ‘believe also in Christ.’ For sure I am that when the stress comes, and you want a god, unless your god is the God revealed in Jesus Christ, he will be a powerless deity. If you have not faith in Christ, you will not long have faith in God that is vital and worth anything.

III. Lastly, this trust in Christ is the secret of a quiet heart.

It is of no use to say to men, ‘Let not your hearts be troubled,’ unless you finish the verse and say, ‘Believe in God, believe also in Christ.’ For unless we trust we shall certainly be troubled. The state of man in this world is like that of some of those sunny islands in southern seas, around which there often rave the wildest cyclones, and which carry in their bosoms, beneath all their riotous luxuriance of verdant beauty, hidden fires, which ever and anon shake the solid earth and spread destruction. Storms without and earthquakes within-that is the condition of humanity. And where is the ‘rest’ to come from? All other defences are weak and poor. We have heard about ‘pills against earthquakes.’ That is what the comforts and tranquillising which the world supplies may fairly be likened to. Unless we trust we are, and we shall be, and should be, ‘troubled.’

If we trust we may be quiet. Trust is always tranquillity. To cast a burden off myself on others’ shoulders is always a rest. But trust in Jesus Christ brings infinitude on my side. Submission is repose. When we cease to kick against the pricks they cease to prick and wound us. Trust opens the heart, like the windows of the Ark tossing upon the black and fatal flood, for the entrance of the peaceful dove with the olive branch in its mouth. Trust brings Christ to my side in all His tenderness and greatness and sweetness. If I trust, ‘all is right that seems most wrong.’ If I trust, conscience is quiet. If I trust, life becomes ‘a solemn scorn of ills.’ If I trust, inward unrest is changed into tranquillity, and mad passions are cast out from him that sits ‘clothed and in his right mind’ at the feet of Jesus.

‘The wicked is like the troubled sea which cannot rest.’ But if I trust, my soul will become like the glassy ocean when all the storms sleep, and ‘birds of peace sit brooding on the charmed wave.’ ‘Peace I leave with you.’ ‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.’

Help us, O Lord! to yield our hearts to Thy dear Son, and in Him to find Thyself and eternal rest.John 14:1. Let not your hearts be troubled — At the thoughts of my departure from you, and leaving you in a world where you are likely to meet with many temptations, trials, and troubles, and to become a helpless prey to the rage and power of your enemies. Ye believe in God — The Almighty Preserver and Governor of the universe, who is able to support you under, and deliver you out of, all your distresses; believe also in me — Who am sent by God, not only to teach, but to redeem and save you; and who can both protect you from evil, and reward you abundantly for whatever losses and sufferings you sustain on my account. But the original words, πιστευετε εις τον Θεον και εις εμε πιστευετε, it seems, ought rather to be rendered, Believe in God, believe also in me; that is, Confide in the being, perfections, and superintending providence of God: or, Rely on the great acknowledged principles of natural religion, that the glorious Maker and Governor of the world is most wise, mighty, holy, just, and good, and the sovereign disposer of all events; and comfort yourselves likewise with the peculiar doctrines of that holy religion which I have taught you. Or, as Dr. Doddridge interprets the clause, “Believe in God, the Almighty Guardian of his faithful servants, who has made such glorious promises to prosper and succeed the cause in which you are engaged; and believe also in me, as the promised Messiah, who, whether present or absent in body, shall always be mindful of your concerns, as well as ever able to help you.” It appears most natural, as he justly observes, to render the same word, πιστευετε, alike in both places; and it is certain an exhortation to faith in God and in Christ would be very seasonable, considering how weak and defective their faith was. Thus Dr. Campbell: “The two clauses are so similarly expressed and linked together by the copulative [και, and, or also] that it is, I suspect, unprecedented, to make the verb in one an indicative, and the same verb repeated in the other an imperative. The simple and natural way is, to render similarly what is similarly expressed: nor ought this rule ever to be departed from, unless something absurd or incongruous should follow from the observance of it, which is so far from being the case here, that by rendering both in the imperative, the sense is not only good, but apposite.”14:1-11 Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so. Christ's disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort. The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father's house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it. Christ is the sinner's Way to the Father and to heaven, in his person as God manifest in the flesh, in his atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by him the Way. He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened. Nor can any man draw nigh God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth, to come by Him as the Way. By Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to God, and his blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest, the good old Way. He is the Resurrection and the Life. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him. In the light of Christ's doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ's miracles, they saw God as the God of power. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ's life. We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ; for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.Let not your heart be troubled - The disciples had been greatly distressed at what Jesus had said about leaving them. Compare John 16:6, John 16:22. Perhaps they had indicated their distress to him in some manner by their countenance or their expressions, and he proceeds new to administer to them such consolations as their circumstances made proper. The discourse in this chapter was delivered, doubtless, while they were sitting at the table partaking of the Lord's Supper (see John 14:31); that in John 15-16, and the prayer in John 17, were while they were on their way to the Mount of Olives. There is nowhere to be found a discourse so beautiful, so tender, so full of weighty thoughts, and so adapted to produce comfort, as that which occurs in these three chapters of John. It is the consolatory part of our religion, where Christ brings to bear on the mind full of anxiety, and perplexity, and care, the tender and inimitably beautiful truths of his gospel - truths fitted to allay every fear, silence every complaint, and give every needed consolation to the soul. In the case of the disciples there was much to trouble them. They were about to part with their beloved, tender friend. They were to be left alone to meet persecutions and trials. They were without wealth, without friends, without honors. And it is not improbable that they felt that his death would demolish all their schemes, for they had not yet fully learned the doctrine that the Messiah must suffer and die, Luke 24:21.

Ye believe in God - This may be read either in the indicative mood or the imperative. Probably it should be read in the imperative - "Believe on God, and believe on me." If there were no other reason for it, this is sufficient, that there was no more evidence that they did believe in God than that they believed in Jesus. All the ancient versions except the Latin read it thus. The Saviour told them that their consolation was to be found at this time in confidence in God and in him; and he intimated what he had so often told them and the Jews, that there was an indissoluble union between him and the Father. This union he takes occasion to explain to them more fully, John 14:7-12.

Believe in - Put confidence in, rely on for support and consolation.

CHAPTER 14

Joh 14:1-31. Discourse at the Table, after Supper.

We now come to that portion of the evangelical history which we may with propriety call its Holy of Holies. Our Evangelist, like a consecrated priest, alone opens up to us the view into this sanctuary. It is the record of the last moments spent by the Lord in the midst of His disciples before His passion, when words full of heavenly thought flowed from His sacred lips. All that His heart, glowing with love, had still to say to His friends, was compressed into this short season. At first (from Joh 13:31) the intercourse took the form of conversation; sitting at table, they talked familiarly together. But when (Joh 14:31) the repast was finished, the language of Christ assumed a loftier strain; the disciples, assembled around their Master, listened to the words of life, and seldom spoke a word (only Joh 16:17, 29). "At length, in the Redeemer's sublime intercessory prayer, His full soul was poured forth in express petitions to His heavenly Father on behalf of those who were His own. It is a peculiarity of these last chapters, that they treat almost exclusively of the most profound relations—as that of the Son to the Father, and of both to the Spirit, that of Christ to the Church, of the Church to the world, and so forth. Moreover, a considerable portion of these sublime communications surpassed the point of view to which the disciples had at that time attained; hence the Redeemer frequently repeats the same sentiments in order to impress them more deeply upon their minds, and, because of what they still did not understand, points them to the Holy Spirit, who would remind them of all His sayings, and lead them into all truth (Joh 14:26)" [Olshausen].

1. Let not your heart be troubled, &c.—What myriads of souls have not these opening words cheered, in deepest gloom, since first they were uttered!

ye believe in God—absolutely.

believe also in me—that is, Have the same trust in Me. What less, and what else, can these words mean? And if so, what a demand to make by one sitting familiarly with them at the supper table! Compare the saying in Joh 5:17, for which the Jews took up stones to stone Him, as "making himself equal with God" (Joh 14:18). But it is no transfer of our trust from its proper Object; it is but the concentration of our trust in the Unseen and Impalpable One upon His Own Incarnate Son, by which that trust, instead of the distant, unsteady, and too often cold and scarce real thing it otherwise is, acquires a conscious reality, warmth, and power, which makes all things new. This is Christianity in brief.John 14:1-4 Christ comforteth his disciples with the promise of

a heavenly mansion.

John 14:5-7 He professes himself the way, the truth, and the life,

John 14:8-11 and that he is one with the Father.

John 14:12-14 He promises them power to do greater works than his own,

and the grant of all that they should ask in his name.

John 14:15-26 He requireth their obedience as a proof of their love,

and giveth them a promise of the Comforter, the Holy Ghost.

John 14:27-31 He leaveth his peace with them.

Chapter Introduction

The three ensuing chapters contain either one or more consolatory discourses of our Saviour to his disciples, (as appeareth from John 14:1), made, as is probable, to them in the guest chamber (at least that part of them which we have in this chapter); for we read of no motion of our Saviour’s till we come to the last verse of this chapter. That which troubled them was, what he had told them in the close of the former chapter, that he was going from them. By our Saviour’s discourse in this and the two following chapters, it should seem that there were three things that troubled them.

1. The sense of their loss as to his bodily presence.

2. The fear, that with the loss of that they should also lose those spiritual influences which they had received from him, and upon which their souls had lived.

3. The prospect of those storms of troubles and persecutions, which were likely to follow his departure from them; for if we wisely consider what our Saviour saith in these three following chapters, it all tends to comfort them as to troubles that might arise in their spirits, upon one or other of these accounts: the general proposition is laid down in John 14:1.

Let not your heart be troubled, through grief, or fear, which are the two passions which ordinarily most disturb our minds. Our Saviour himself was troubled, but not sinfully; his trouble neither arose from unbelief, nor yet was in an undue measure; it was (as one well expresses it) like the mere agitation of clear water, where was no mud at the bottom: but our trouble is like the stirring of water that hath a great deal of mud at the bottom, which upon the roiling, riseth up, and maketh it the whole body of the water in the vessel impure, roiled and muddy. It is this sinful trouble, caused from these two passions, and rising up to an immoderate degree, and mixed with a great deal of unbelief and distrust in God, against which our Saviour here cautions his disciples; and the remedy he prescribes against those afflicting passions, is a believing in God, and a believing on him. The two latter passages in the verse are so penned in the Greek, that they may be read four ways; for the verb

believe, twice repeated, may be read either indicatively or imperatively, or the one may be read indicatively and the other imperatively; so as they may be translated, You believe in God, you believe also in me. And so they teach us, that there is no such remedy for inward troubles, as a believing in God, and a believing in Jesus Christ; and those that do so, have no just reason for any excessive heart troubles. Or else they may be read, Believe in God, believe in me: or else as we read them,

Ye believe in God, believe also in me: or, Believe in God, ye believe in me. But the disciples’ faith in Christ as Mediator, and God man, being yet weak, and their weakness being what our Saviour hath ordinarily blamed, not magnified, or commended, the best interpreters judge the sense which our translators give to be the best sense; and judge that our Saviour doth inculcate to them his Divine nature, and again offer himself to them as the proper object of their faith. You (saith he) own it for your duty to trust in God, as your Creator, and he that provideth for you: believe also in me, as God equal with my Father; and in me, as the Messiah, your Mediator and Redeemer: so as you have one to take care or all your concerns, both those of your bodies, and those of your souls also, so as you have nothing to be immoderately and excessively, or distrustfully, troubled for; therefore let not your hearts be troubled; only, without care or distrust, commit yourselves to me.

Let not your heart be troubled,.... In some copies this verse begins thus, and he said to his disciples; and certain it is, that these words are addressed to them in general, Peter being only the person our Lord was discoursing with in the latter part of the preceding chapter; but turning, as it were, from him, he directs his speech to them all. There were many things which must needs lie heavy upon, and greatly depress the minds of the disciples; most of all the loss of Christ's bodily presence, his speedy departure from them, of which he had given them notice in the preceding chapter; also the manner in which he should be removed from them, and the circumstances that should attend the same, as that he should be betrayed by one of them, and denied by another; likewise the poor and uncomfortable situation they were likely to be left in, without any sight or hope of that temporal kingdom being erected, which they had been in expectation of; and also the issue and consequence of all this, that they would be exposed to the hatred and persecutions of men. Now in the multitude of these thoughts within them, Christ comforts them, bids them be of good heart, and exhorts them to all exercise of faith on God, and on himself, as the best way to be rid of heart troubles, and to have peace:

ye believe in God, believe also in me; which words may be read and interpreted different ways: either thus, "ye believe in God, and ye believe in me"; and so are both propositions alike, and express God and Christ to be equally the object of their faith; and since therefore they had so good a foundation for their faith and confidence, they had no reason to be uneasy: or thus, "believe in God, and believe in me"; and so both are exhortations to exercise faith alike on them both, as being the best antidote they could make use of against heart troubles: or thus, "believe in God, and ye believe in me"; and so the former is an exhortation, the latter a proposition: and the sense is, put your trust in God, and you will also trust in me, for I am of the same nature and essence with him; I and my Father are one; so that if you believe in one, you must believe in the other: or thus, and so our translators render them, "ye believe in God, believe also in me"; and so the former is a proposition, or an assertion, and the latter is an exhortation grounded upon it: you have believed in God as faithful and true in all his promises, though yon have not seen him; believe in me also, though I am going from you, and shall be absent for a while; this you may be assured of, that whatever I have said shall be accomplished. The words considered either way are a full proof of the true deity of Christ, since he is represented as equally the object of faith with God the Father, and lay a foundation for solid peace and comfort in a view of afflictions and persecutions in the world.

Let {1} not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

(1) He believes in God who believes in Christ, and there is no other way to strengthen and encourage our minds during the greatest distresses.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 14:1.[138] From Peter Jesus now turns, with consolatory address in reference to His near departure, to the disciples generally; hence D. and a few Verss. prefix καὶ εἶπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ (so also Luther, following Erasmus). But the cause of the address itself is fully explained in John’s narrative by the situation, and by no means requires the reference, arbitrarily assumed by Hengstenberg, to Luke 22:35-38. The whole of the following farewell discourses, down to John 17:26, must have grown out of the profoundest recollections of the apostle, which, in a highly intellectual manner, are vividly recalled, and further expanded. It coheres with the entire peculiarity of the Johannean narrative of the last Supper, that the Synoptics offer no parallels to these farewell discourses. Hence it is not satisfactory, and is not in keeping with the necessary personal recollection of John, to regard him as taking his start from certain primary words of earlier gospels, which he, like an artist of powerful genius, has transfigured by a great, but, at the same time, most appropriate and enchanting transformation (Ewald).

μὴ ταρασσ.] by anxiety and apprehension. Comp. John 12:27. It points to what He had spoken in the preceding chapters of His departure, not, as Chrysostom, Theodore of Mopsuestia, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, and many thought, to Peter’s denial, after the prediction of which the rest of the disciples also might have become anxious about their constancy. This is erroneous, because the following discourse bears no relation to it.

πιστεύετε, κ.τ.λ.] By these words Jesus exhorts them not to faith generally (which they certainly had), but to that confident assurance by which the μὴ ταράσσεσθαι was conditioned: trust in God, and trust in me. To take, in both cases, πιστεύετε as imperatives (Cyril., Gothic, Nonnus, Theophylact, Euth. Zigabenus, Bengel, and several others, including most moderns, from Lücke to Hengstenberg and Godet) appears most in conformity with the preceding imperative and the direct character of the address.[139] Others: the first πιστ. is indicative, and the second imperative: ye believe on God, believe therefore on me (Vulgate, Erasmus, Luther in his Exposition, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Aretius, Maldonatus, Grotius, and several others). Luther, who takes the first sentence as a hypothetical statement, which in itself is admissible (Bernhardy, p. 385; Pflugk, ad Eur. Med. 386, comp. on John 1:51), has in his translation taken πιστεύετε, in both cases, as indicatives. According to any rendering, however, the inseparable coherence of the two movements (God in Christ manifest and near) is to be noted. Comp. Romans 5:2.

[138] Luther’s exposition of chap. 14, 15, 16 belongs to the year 1538. He terms these discourses “the best and most consoling sermons that the Lord Christ delivered on earth,” and “a treasure and jewel, not to be purchased with the world’s goods.”—Luther’s book (which originated in sermons, which Casp. Cruciger took down) is among his most spirited and lively writings. How highly he himself esteemed it, see in Matthesius, eilfte Pred. (ed. Nürnb. 1592, p. 119a).

[139] So also Ebrard, who, however, in conformity with a supposed Hebraism (see on Ephesians 4:26), finds the inappropriate meaning: “Believe on God, so ye believe on me.” Thus the emotional address becomes a reflection. Olshausen arrives at the same sense, taking the first πιστ. as imperative, the second as indicative.John 14:1. But as they sat astounded and perplexed, He continues, Μὴ ταρασσέσθω ὑμῶν ἡ καρδία. Let not your heart be tossed and agitated like water driven by winds; cf. Liddell and S. and Thayer. He not only commands them to dismiss their agitation, but gives them reason: πιστεύετεπιστεύετε. “Trust God, yea, trust me.” Trust Him who overrules all events, He will bring you through this crisis for which you feel yourselves incompetent; or if in your present circumstances that faith is too difficult, trust me whom you see and know and whose word you cannot doubt. It is legitimate to construe the first πιστεύετε as an indicative, and the second as imperative: but this gives scarcely so appropriate a sense.1. Let not your heart be troubled] There had been much to cause anxiety and alarm; the denouncing of the traitor, the declaration of Christ’s approaching departure, the prediction of S. Peter’s denial. The last as being nearest might seem to be specially indicated; but what follows shews that ‘let not your heart be troubled’ refers primarily to ‘whither I go, ye cannot come’ (John 13:33).

ye believe in God, believe also] The Greek for ‘ye believe’ and ‘believe’ is the same, and there is nothing to indicate that one is indicative and the other imperative. Both may be indicative; but probably both are imperative: believe in God, and believe in Me; or perhaps, trust in God, and trust in Me. It implies the belief which moves towards and reposes on its object (see last note on John 1:12). In any case a genuine belief in God leads to a belief in His Son.

1. This Judas, who was the son of a certain James (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13): he is commonly identified with Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus (see on Matthew 10:3). 2. Judas Iscariot 3. The brother of Jesus Christ, and of James, Joses, and Simon (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). 4. Judas, surnamed Barsabas (Acts 15:22; Acts 15:27; Acts 15:32). 5. Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37). 6. Judas of Damascus (Acts 9:11). Of these six the third is probably the author of the Epistle; so that this remark is the only thing recorded in the N.T. of Judas the Apostle as distinct from the other Apostles. Nor is anything really known of him from other sources.

how is it] Literally, What hath come to pass; ‘what has happened to determine Thee?’

manifest thyself] The word ‘manifest’ rouses S. Judas just as the word ‘see’ roused S. Philip (John 14:7). Both go wrong from the same cause, inability to see the spiritual meaning of Christ’s words, but they go wrong in different ways. Philip wishes for a vision of the Father, a Theophany, a suitable inauguration of the Messiah’s kingdom. Judas supposes with the rest of his countrymen that the manifestation of the Messiah means a bodily appearance in glory before the whole world, to judge the Gentiles and restore the kingdom to the Jews. Once more we have the Jewish point of view given with convincing precision. Comp. John 7:4.John 14:1. Μή) In some copies there is prefixed this clause, καὶ εἶπε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ· and this the distinguished D. Hauber supports, especially in den harmonischen Anmerkungen, p. 206. Erasmus was the first to edit the passage so; and Luther, following either Erasmus, or the Vulgate, which contains a similar interpolation, translates it so. The whole voice of antiquity refutes this addition, as I had shown in my Apparatus, p. 595 [Ed. ii. 263]. The principle of an adequate reason, which D. Hauber uses as if favouring its insertion, I will use on the other side, so as to say with Erasmus himself, Lucas Brugensis, and Mill, that one or two transcribers, at the commencement of a Pericopa, or portion appointed for Church reading, prefixed this formula, as they most frequently have done.[343]—μὴ ταρασσέσθω, let not—be troubled) on account of My departure: ch. John 13:33, “Yet a little while I am with you: ye shall seek Me,” etc.; John 16:6, “Because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.” He takes away from the disciples their trouble of heart before that He alludes to the causes of that trouble. The Lord knew what these were in the case of the disciples, ch. John 13:33, and unfolds them in detail more openly in the following parts of His discourse. This [comforting of the disciples] is repeated, and with additional emphasis, at John 14:27. [And it is not merely in ch. 13., but further also in ch. 14., a reply is given to the question proposed by Peter, ch. John 13:36, “Lord, whither goest Thou?”—V. g.]—πιστεύετεπιστεύετε, believe ye—believe ye) The Imperative, just as in the parallel expression, μὴ ταράσσεσθω, let not—be troubled. The sum and substance of this sermon is this, Believe ye: and this exhortation, Believe, at John 14:11, and subsequently, is urged until [His exhortation becoming effectual] it is made into the Indicative, ch. John 16:31; John 16:30, “Do ye now believe? By this we believe that Thou camest forth from God:” and when this was effected, the Saviour prays and departs. [Hence is evident the very close connection which there is of the chapters 14., 15., 16., between one another.—Harm., p. 506.] It might be thus punctuated, πιστεύετε· εἰς τὸν Θεὸν καὶ εἰς ἐμὲ πιστεύετε· whereby the verb would first be placed by itself, equivalent to a summary of what follows, as in ch. John 16:31; then next the same would be repeated with an explanation; with which comp. ch. John 13:34, note [That ye love, first put simply, then repeated with Epitasis, or explanatory augmentation]. But the received punctuation seems to me preferable, and moreover to be understood so as that the accent in pronunciation should in the former clause fall chiefly on the words believe ye; in the second clause, on in Me: so that the ancient faith in God, may be as it were seasoned [dyed] with a new colour, by their believing in Jesus Christ.—εἰς ἐμέ, in Me) who am come from God; ch. John 16:27, “The Father Himself loveth you, because ye—have believed that I came out from God.”

[343] Dabcd and some copies of the Vulg. support the words. But the mass of authorities is against them.—E. and T.Verse 1. - It is not necessary to follow Codex D and some of the versions, and here introduce into the text καὶ εϊπεν τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ. It is enough that the awful warning to Peter, which followed the announcement of the treachery of Judas and his departure, the solemnity of the Lord, and the clear announcement of his approaching death, had fallen like a thunderbolt into their company. Judas held the bag, and was their treasurer, their ἐπίσκοπος (see Hatch's 'Bampt. Lect.'), and a referee on all practical subjects and details. He had turned against the Lord; and now their spokesman, their rock of strength, their most prominent and their boldest brother, the senior of the group, and with one exception the disciple most beloved and trusted by the Master, was actually warned against the most deadly sin - nay, more, a course of conduct is predicted of him enough to scatter them all to the four winds. Is it possible to exaggerate the consternation and distraction, the shrieks of fear, the bitter sobs of reckless grief that convulsed the upper chamber? In the agony of despair, and amid the awful pause that followed the outburst of their confusion and grief, words fell upon their ears which Luther described as "the best and most consoling sermons that the Lord Christ delivered on earth," "a treasure and jewel not to be purchased with the world's goods." Hengstenberg has argued at length that the opening words of the chapter do not point to this scene of deep dejection, but to the conversation recorded in Luke 22:35-38, where our Lord warned his disciples of the career of anxiety and dependence and struggle through which they would have to pass. They must be ready even to part with their garment to procure a sword, i.e. they must be prepared to defend themselves against many enemies. With his characteristic impetuosity Peter says, "Here are two swords;" and Jesus said, "It is enough." He could not have meant that two swords were a match for the weapons of the high priests, or the power of the Roman empire, but that the disciple had once again misunderstood the figurative teaching of Christ, and, like a child (as he was), had, in the intensity of his present feeling, lost all apperception of the future. True, the language of Luke 22:35-38 suggests an answer to the question, "Why cannot I follow thee now?" But these words in John 14. more certainly contemplate that query, coupled with the other occasions that had arisen for bitter tribulation. To the faithful ones, to Peter's own nobler nature, and to them all alike in view of their unparalleled grief and dismay at the immediate prospect of his departure, he says, Let not your heart be troubled - the one heart of you all; for, after all, it is one heart, and for the moment it was in uttermost exacerbation and distress, lie repeated the words at the close of the first part of the discourse (Ver. 27), after he had uttered his words of consolation. The "trouble" from which that one heart of theirs is breaking is not the mere sentimental sorrow of parting with a friend, but the perplexity arising from distracting cares and conflicting passions. The work of love and sacrifice means trouble that nothing but supernatural aid and Divine strength can touch. The heartache of those who are wakened up to any due sense of the eternal is one that nothing but the hand that moves all things can soothe or remedy. Faith in the absolute goodness of God can alone sustain the mind in these deep places of fear, and under the shadow of death. But he gives a reason for their consolation. This is, Believe in God, i.e. the eternal God in all his revelations of himself in the past - in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who has most completely been unveiled to you now in the word and light and life that have been given to you in me. Your faith in God will be equal to your emergencies, and, if you live up to such fairly, you will bear all that befalls you (cf. Mark 11:22). But, he adds, as I have been in the bosom of God and have declared him to you, believe also in me, as his highest and most complete Revelation. He claimed from them thus the same kind of sentiment, as by right of creation and infinite perfection God Almighty had demanded from them. There are three other ways in which this ambiguous sentence may be translated, according as both the πιστεύετε are taken either as indicatives or imperatives, but the above method is approved by the great majority of interpreters from the early Fathers to Meyer and Godet. The Vulgate and Authorized Version and Revised Version make the second only of the πιστεύετε imperative, and consequently read, "Ye believe in God, believe also in me," which, in the revelation they had just given of their wretchedness and lack of adequate courage and faithfulness, was almost more than the Lord, in the deep and comprehensive sense in which he was using the word "God," would have attributed to them. The different order of the words in the Greek, bringing the two clauses, "in God" and "in me," together, gives potency to the argument of the verse, which is that of the entire Gospel. Heart (καρδία)

Never used in the New Testament, as in the Septuagint, of the mere physical organ, though sometimes of the vigor and sense of physical life (Acts 14:17; James 5:5; Luke 21:34). Generally, the center of our complex being - physical, moral, spiritual, and intellectual. See on Mark 12:30. The immediate organ by which man lives his personal life, and where that entire personal life concentrates itself. It is thus used sometimes as parallel to ψυχή, the individual life, and to πνεῦμα the principle of life, which manifests itself in the ψυχή. Strictly, καρδία is the immediate organ of ψυχή, occupying a mediating position between it and πνεῦμα. In the heart (καρδία) the spirit (πνεῦμα), which is the distinctive principle of the life or soul (ψυχή), has the seat of its activity.

Emotions of joy or sorrow are thus ascribed both to the heart and to the soul. Compare John 14:27, "Let not your heart (καρδιά) be troubled;" and John 12:27, "Now is my soul (ψυχή) troubled." The heart is the focus of the religious life (Matthew 22:37; Luke 6:45; 2 Timothy 2:22). It is the sphere of the operation of grace (Matthew 13:19; Luke 8:15; Luke 24:32; Acts 2:37; Romans 10:9, Romans 10:10). Also of the opposite principle (John 13:2; Acts 5:3). Used also as the seat of the understanding; the faculty of intelligence as applied to divine things (Matthew 13:15; Romans 1:21; Mark 8:17).

Ye believe - believe also (πιστεύετε καὶ πιστεύετε)

The verbs may be taken either as indicatives or as imperatives. Thus we may render: ye believe in God, ye believe also in me; or, believe in God and ye believe in me; or, believe in God and believe in me; or again, as A.V. The third of these renderings corresponds best with the hortatory character of the discourse.

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