Sunday, May 26, 2024

Let not your heart be troubled

Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where [I] am going you know the way.”  -John Chapter 14 (Last Supper Discourses) NAB translation

I am walking on egg-shells here because Faith is a personal thing and I DO NOT want to challenge anybody's Faith. A very hot corner of Hell is reserved for those who cause believers to doubt and then leave the faith.*

Nevertheless, the solemn holiday (a word derived from Holy day) of Memorial Day makes me think about stuff.

Modern usage of the language has "House", "Name" and "Family" meaning very specific and very different things that have very little overlap. In ancient times, the ideas were blurred and that caused challenges to translators of the Scripture. The earliest translators of the earliest Greek texts into "modern" language were brilliant men and took their task very seriously.

If you attend many funerals (and sadly, at our age that seems to be ever more frequent) you have probably heard that passage from John 14 although probably from a different translation. Given the timing of when Jesus said this (Last Supper) and the general context, it is clear that the primary meaning is about the after-life. But...(and here I tippy-toe) the first part of the passage is written in the present-tense while the last two-thirds of the text is expressed as future tense.

It is possible to argue that Jesus was reminding us that The Father's House is NOW and our place and the expectations that go with that place are NOW. We are not assets who are planted incognito for future activation. Our roles and responsibilities in the Family of God are active NOW.

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.  -KJV translation

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”  -NIV translation

*One of the primary differences between "a religion" and "a cult" is that the cult strongly discourages questioning because conformance is the primary objective

A bona fide religion encourages questioning because God (not man) has the answers and the primary objective is to give followers the tools they need to fulfill God's mission.


  1. Amen Joe. Woody

  2. The "kingdom of Heaven" that Jesus was talking about is at hand when we come to faith in Him and His Spirit indwells us. (Acts 2). He is here in me, working in and through me, as I cooperate with Him... (Col 1:26-27) following His leading through study of the Bible and all the rest (Acts 2:42).

    "Ye are the salt of the world", but what good is salt if it stays in the shaker?

    Thought provoking post this morning! Thank you.

  3. ERJ - I do not think it is unfair to say that a verse or series of verses can have multiple applications. The test you quote above is used in many funeral services (it was used last weekend at the my mother's). It is also often used as text to support the pre-tribulation rapture. There is no reason one could be meant to the exclusion of the other (side-stepping the entire eschatology debate, of course).

    There is a quote I have often heard which supposedly originated in the 19th Century about a group of Christians being so heavenly minded that they were of no earthly good - in other words, they complete focus was on the next life, not this one. At the risk of actually having an opinion, I cannot see that is what Jesus meant. It is certainly not what He practiced, not what the early Church practiced. To your point, we are not intended to be in a "charging" state in this life, ready to spring into action upon crossing into the next one. In fact, Christ makes it quite clear that what we do here as a Christian has significant ramifications there.

  4. The curse of the stumbling block. Serious indeed. I believe we are to be His hands here until such time as he calls us home to the "many rooms". It isn't a cult or religion, but a personal relationship with Jesus. The more questions, the better. He has all the answers.
    Thank you for the post.

  5. "Question Authority" is fundamental to my faith. And Who is the Highest Authority? He whom I question. (son of an English minor, I love playing with language.)


Readers who are willing to comment make this a better blog. Civil dialog is a valuable thing.