Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. 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, there you may be also.
-John 14

What would you say? Honestly- what would you say to your closest friends the very night you would be betrayed, denied, and forsaken by all of them? What would you say on your very last night here on earth? I don’t know about you – but when we understand the context of when Jesus said these words from John 14, it is amazing to hear his perspective. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled’, came from a man who later that evening would be grieved unto death in the Garden of Gethsemane. How troubled was his heart? In the moment of when we would want Jesus to be afraid and confide in his friends, (which most of us would want to do), he begins to talk about preparing a place for them. Jesus is almost calm about the upcoming crucifixion.

But I do not believe that His calm has anything to do with his psychological or emotional state. I believe that this was a time when Jesus knew He was fulfilling His purpose. In as much as He tried to explain it to the disciples throughout His ministry, Jesus took one more opportunity to explain to them about who He is, what he came to do, and what he is going to do. He revealed his purpose to them. Later in John’s account, he shows us how Jesus even prayed for the disciples and us too! It’s true. Jesus prayed for you and me when he prayed for the ones who would believe because of the witness of the disciples. That is you and me. John’s Gospel takes 5 out of 21 chapters to detail Jesus’ last words to his disciples. It must be important. If you had just one last statement to make, what would you say?

Michael Smith is a camp alum who has worked on staff and served on the board at camp. He is the pastor of Tabernacle United Methodist Church in Erma. Image credit: Kristin Nelson, via CreationSwap

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