Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.
I. AN APPEAL TO A FAMILIAR EXPERIENCE. Most of the disciples, perhaps all of them, were well acquainted with the sea of Galilee. Some of them had earned their livelihood on its waters. They knew it in calm and in storm; and when their Master spoke of hearts being troubled, there was everything in this word "troubled" to make them think at once of the sea they had so often to do with. Their hearts were not to be as the waters of the lake, instantly responding to every breeze that set them in agitation. The surface is a mass of tossing billows; it cannot for a moment resist the wind; but the wind tries in vain to blow its turmoil down into the depths. So we cannot help the surface-trouble; but, whatever the changes of life, our hearts are kept in peace.
II. FUTURE TRIALS FORSEEN. We must recollect a little of the after experience of those whom Jesus here addresses. They were nearing a time of tempest and troubling, well perceived by him, altogether unexpected by them. They were to lose the visible presence of their Master. Persecution awaited them. They would have to go far from familiar and secluded Galilee out into all the world, to preach the gospel to every creature. So far the disciples had been like mariners, dropping down the harbor and making seaward under One whom they reckon as Captain. He is still with them, and they reckon on his continuing with them. And so he will, but in another guise from that which they expect. Thus Jesus would do his best to make them ready. The greatest of all dangers is that which for a while they will think of least, even the danger of trouble penetrating to the heart, and leaving not one single calm and blessed region in the whole of their experience.
III. THE SURE WAY TO UNBROKEN CALM. It is well for us when we come to estimate the perils of life according to the standard of Christ. Some people get no enjoyment out of life from their nervous apprehension concerning all sorts of temporal dangers. They are ever mounting sentinel against foes that no sentinel can keep out. But here is a peril only too easily overlooked - that of neglecting a real faith in God and in Christ. Remember the story of the man who was running full speed across a field to escape a thunderstorm. All at once he was gored by a bull, whose presence in the field he had altogether forgotten. This is a sample of the prudence of some people. The man had no certainty of escaping the lightning wherever he might go. But he could easily have escaped the bull by keeping out of the field where it was. Thus men thinking to save their lives, lose them. If the roots of our life are deepening and extending and intertwining into the life of God, then the fabric of our best interests cannot fall. We must be careful, too, to act on the double reference. Jesus does not stop with saying, "Believe in God." Nor does he begin with saying, "Believe in me." Jesus opens up all the resources at once. Jesus himself had believed in his Father. The disciples had to pass through tempests; Jesus himself had to pass through hurricanes and tornadoes, and say to himself, "Let not thy heart be troubled; believe in God." Believe in Jesus for the very works' sake. They will take him to prison; they will crown him with thorns; they will fasten him to the cross, and he will die; and still believe. Believe in Jesus, who himself has trod all the path, from earth's deepest sorrows to heaven's fullest joys. Who has better right to say, "Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me"? - Y.
Parallel VersesKJV: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.