Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
The words are —
I. NOT SENTIMENTAL. They are not spoken by one who wishes to silence sorrow by superficial kindliness. Christ does not say we are to disarm ourselves of prudence and energy; but He does say where all these work torture and misery you are faithless. There is a Providence that goes before you. Your Heavenly Father knoweth what things you have need of. There is more than sorrow in this world. Sin is here, but even over it we triumph by a salvation which makes a redeemed life the most glorious life of all. From the lips of Christ this is a reasonable comfort, because He is able to make all grace abound towards us, and because sorrow goes forth as His angel to make us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.
II. NOT EXHAUSTIBLE. This comfort is not exhaustible in time; nor can you exhaust its adaptation to the variety and speciality of personal sorrow. Does not Christ know your sorrow? We could gain no true comfort if Christ were merely a figure in history. If Christ had not risen the words are exhaustible. But Christ Himself has said, "I am He that liveth," etc. The value even of an earthly friend is in the inexhaustibility of sympathy. But at the best human friendship is shallow, but it is different with Christ's. His passeth knowledge. He who changes not and abideth always says, "Let not your heart be troubled."
III. NOT LIMITABLE. These are words of consolation for all the brothers and sisters of Jesus.
1. No little community has any special privilege of excommunicating, nor has any large one.
2. All through the ranges of experience, as well as through all the ages of time, Christ bids us take these words of comfort. First of all they should be applied to the heaviest sorrows. Here at Christ's Cross the most burdened may find release.
IV. NOT ALONE TEMPORAL. They do not simply relate to this time world or to our human and spiritual experiences here. Christ was comforting men concerning the rest that remaineth. And the spirit of man had never been so comforted before. He knew that hearts like ours would grasp every promise concerning the blessed dead. So these words should be taken up into the highest sphere to comfort us concerning those who sleep in Jesus that we sorrow not as those without hope, remembering that the risen Christ went back whence He came, to prepare a place for us.
V. NOT ALONE RETROSPECTIVE. Christ does not say, "Do not trouble about past sins, they are forgiven you." No. He looks forward and comforts them in relation to their earthly future here and their home hereafter. And yet what did He see in the near perspective for many of them? On the edge of the horizon stand their crosses in the grey light of tomorrow. "The time cometh that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." Still He says, "Do not trouble." Let us take Christ at His word as they did.
(W. M. Statham.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.