I find it incredibly interesting that Jesus has, up to chapter 13, provided precious little pointed guidance in how one should live his life. Matthew presents us early with Jesus’ ethical code in the Sermon on the Mount. Luke devotes ten chapters to Jesus’ teaching. But none of that appears in John until the upper room.
John identifies who Jesus is in chapter one. From chapters two through eleven, John proves that Jesus is who He claims to be through Jesus’ miracles. All the while, Jesus calls his followers, and John calls his readers, to place their trust in Jesus. That’s what “belief” is really all about.
But trust cannot just be claimed: it must be seen. In chapters 13 – 17, Jesus tells how and in chapter 14, He begins with: “Don’t be afraid.”
That direction is specifically given in the Bible 66 times and it’s always relevant. Fear is always with us. We fear things that go “bump” in the night. We fear loss of security, loss of independence, alienation, rejection, loneliness, and death.
But Jesus says: Faith means, you’re not afraid, for you have entrusted your life to the one who has all power, and who will use it on your behalf.
There is, truly, nothing to fear.
As you read today, notice the number of specific commands Jesus gives and remember: these are Jesus’ last words. He’s defining what faith means for our lives.