Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.…
This is an appeal of Christ to His own truthfulness and love. He could not allow His disciples to remain victims of delusion. He had often wounded them by telling painful truths, and had their expectation of an immortal life been a mistaken one, He would most certainly have contradicted it. Our text, then, enunciates a grand principle. Christ made it a main part of His work to expose Jewish error. Whenever, therefore, He refrained from contradicting any deeply rooted belief, we have an argument for its truth. Apply this to —
I. THE DOCTRINE OF OUR LORD'S DEITY. Christ was worshipped over and over again during His earthly ministry. We know that Peter (Acts 10:26) and the angel (Revelation 22:9) shrunk from such homage; but Jesus never did. When His enemies accused Him of making Himself equal with God He did not repel the charge. Meek and lowly as He was, He accepted all the worship men offered, Had He not been Divine would He not have told us?
II. THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. This the destructive criticism of our time denies. Now remember that to the Jews were "committed the oracles of God," and they were conspicuously faithful to their trust. But Christ never questioned the purity and integrity of the ancient scriptures. He held them in the deepest reverence, referred to all classes of facts recorded in them, set His seal to minor incidents, encouraged the people to search them, declared that they could not be broken, and that not one jot or tittle should fail. What a gulf between Christ's criticism and that of the modern school! Had the latter been correct, how is it that He, "the Truth," did not tell the world so? We need not fear, therefore, any of the lower or higher criticism of our day.
III. THE PERPETUITY OF THE SABBATH LAW. That the weekly Day of Rest was not a mere Jewish institution is proved from its position in the Decalogue, and from the design of God in appointing it. And had it been abrogated, or if it was to have no place in the Christian code of ethics, would not Jesus have told us? He often had to deal with the question of Sabbath observance, and to correct the rabbinical interpretations of the Fourth Commandment; but never did He drop a single word to countenance the idea that the Sabbath law was not to remain in force. On the contrary, He claimed to be Lord of the Sabbath. He found the Sabbath a standing Divine ordinance, and left it such only freshened with the dew of His blessing.
IV. MAN'S HOPE OF IMMORTALITY. Thoughtful men in every age have cherished this. Socrates held the doctrine, but admitted that a good deal could be said against it. In the oldest scriptures we find deep yearnings, and over against them hopes very distinct and definite (Job 14:14, 15; Job 19:25-27). We learn from what our Lord said to the Sadducees, that the doctrine was from the beginning part of the faith of God's ancient people; and one of the purposes for which He came was to tell men that this was a reasonable hope. In the text He assumed that the disciples cherished it, and in words of deepest tenderness tells them that they are right.
(C. Jerden, LL. B.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.