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  • Writer's pictureTrey Harper

Jesus' Heart Trouble

There is an old joke about telling someone who is upset that they need to calm down. The joke (in part) is that by saying those words the person is supposed to receive some kind of comfort and just get over whatever it was that had them on edge. I want to draw your attention to your “on edge” Savior.

John 13.21 reads, “After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His Spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me””. For context, Jesus had just washed the disciple’s feet and would continue to tell them about how He is soon to die. In all likelihood, they have just, or will soon, received instructions about observing the Lord’s Supper, and in mere hours Jesus will be betrayed into the hands of those who will end His life. This may have felt mundane to the apostles, but it is macabre to the Messiah who spends the evening telling them He is about to die. Is it any wonder that He is “troubled in His Spirit?”

Juxtapose that with how Jesus opens the next chapter: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” How is it that Jesus can tell us not to be troubled, while He Himself is troubled? Because what Jesus was troubled about doing replaces our need to do that thing. From another context (Matthew 11.28-30): “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” How can this be true? It is not a small thing to be a Christian. It is no easy task to be “hated by the world” because they disagree with the teachings for which we stand. The answer is a humbling one.

Jesus is going to be mocked, ridiculed, beaten, smacked around, and eventually will hang between sky and earth- because we can’t do that for ourselves. No amount of payment we can give is close to the one He made for our salvation. Securing our souls salvation is His to grant, and He gives that gift freely. It is so easy for us to be saved; “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16.33)


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