Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 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. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4John 14:1-4
In this passage Jesus encourages and demonstrates the depth of His love for His disciples by evoking the imagery of and the fact that He is the Bridegroom.
In Jewish culture the groom would leave his betrothed for an undisclosed amount of time to build a room onto his family house for him and his future wife. The betrothed would not know exactly when the groom was coming back so she had to be prepared for him to return almost at any moment. As soon as the groom finished preparing the room for his wife he would return with his guys and the wedding festivities would begin with the groom taking his bride back to the room he just built. But sometimes the groom would be so late in coming that the bride would start to think that something bad had happened.
Jesus deliberately uses terms from the traditional Jewish weddings to describe the fact that He will be gone for a while, and that He WILL come back to take His disciples to be with Him. He does this so that His disciples will not lose heart as the time goes on between His departure and His return. At the end of verse four, He adds ‘You know the way to the place where I am going.’ He tells his disciples this to let them know that even if He does not return before their time is up, that they will be able to find the place where He is through the Holy Spirit.
Luke shares this tender moment with us to remind us that this world is so pale in comparison to where Jesus is going to bring us. So as our hearts become troubled within us, we need to remember that if Jesus promised this to us, then it will be so. Just as the bride never knew when the groom was coming back to take her to their new home, we don’t know when the Groom is coming back for His bride, but we know the way to where He is.
Thank you Lord for tenderly caring for us as a groom cares for his bride, yet your promises are so much stronger than any promise a mere human can make. So Lord, may we hang on to this promise and live boldly as you instructed us to, and by your Spirit help us to strengthen our hearts when the world seeks to trouble us more and more. In the powerful name of Jesus we pray. Amen