Text: John 14:27
Summary: Many today are distracted, disturbed and divided. Our hearts are troubled. Jesus offers His peace as the only solution to bring wholeness to our hearts.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Father, we come before You often times with troubled hearts, with hearts that are overcome by fears and agitations and frustrations and confusion. We ask Lord Jesus for Your peace. It’s not a peace that this world can give. It’s a peace that transcends understanding. It’s Your peace, Lord Jesus. We ask You for Your peace so that whatever circumstance we face, everything on the inside will be calm. Today, we want to receive this gift of peace, Your peace. We asked for this Lord in Jesus Name, Amen
One of the greatest gifts that Jesus can give you is His peace. Today is Palm Sunday. And Jesus is entering His final week, the most sacred week in the Christian calendar.
And I want to focus today on peace. Jesus came not to bring political piece, not world peace, but He came to bring personal peace. Peace in you, peace and me, that is why He came. To reconcile you to God the Father. To give you peace with your fellow man. But most importantly, Jesus came to give you peace on the inside. It’s His peace.
What an incredible promise! That the same peace that Jesus lived with, the same peece that He embodied and demonstrated while He walked this earth, this very peace, His peace, Jesus will give it to you. You have to remember that the disciples here are hearing about Jesus leaving and they’re confused, like, where are you going? How come we can’t follow you?
They know something big is about to happen. And the last thing word you would use to describe the disciples in John 14 is peace. Jesus knowing the state of their heart starts in John 14:1 with…
1 Let not your hearts be troubled.
It’s the same thing that He says in v27.
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
“Troubled” is a packed word in the Greek. “Troubled” means disturbed, it means stirred up, it means agitated, it means shaken to and fro, it means something’s upsetting you. And if I were to describe many people that I see today, it would be troubled. Many people that I see, their hearts are troubled.
And Jesus says, I don’t give this peace as the world gives. How does the world give peace? The world tells you, if you’re stressed, remove yourself from the stressful situation. If you are fatigued, take a vacation. The problem is it’s such a short-lived peace. And after a day or two, if you walk back into that stressful situation, guess what? You’re troubled again. The world tries to manage the symptoms. Just change your circumstances. You’ll be alright. Take a vacation. It doesn’t get at the heart.
If you notice, Jesus only cares about the heart. He says, your heart is troubled. And if I were to describe someone in an extreme case who is disturbed, agitated, stirred up, shaken, upset, we say that person has mental illness. And what do we do with people with mental illness? We treat the symptoms. Here’s a pill. Jesus is not concerned about the symptoms. He goes straight for the heart. Jesus cares for your heart. And if He sees that you’re troubled in your heart, there’s only one solution. It’s His peace.
If I were to describe this generation, three words came to mind. They all start with “d’s.” We are distracted. We are disturbed. And we are divided.
We’re distracted. I think largely it’s because of the cell phone. Because remember, John 14 precedes John 15. John 15 is about abiding. It’s about connecting with, remaining with, and being joined to Christ. And why do we have a hard time abiding in Christ? Because we’re distracted. Like, if you have a broken piece of plastic and you want to join those two pieces together, you take some krazy glue and you put some glue in between and you join them. And you have to hold those pieces together. It’s not instant.
If you break a bone in your arm, how can you fuse those two pieces of bone together? You have to hold the arm together in a solid cast and the bone pieces have to stay together for a period of time, for weeks or months. Did you know even a branch that is partially broken or even fully broken, if you catch it early enough, you can reconnect that branch back to the vine and it can be grafted back in.
And this is such a good picture for the Christian life, that we are to be abide in Christ, to remain in Him and to be joined. But why are we not bearing fruit? It’s because we’re distracted. Those two pieces of bone that are broken — will they fuse together if every few minutes you are waving your arm in the air? Those two pieces of plastic that you joined together with glue, if you shake them every minute, will those two pieces have a chance of staying together? And we as a branch, if we are connected to the Vine, if we are distracted, will we have a chance to abide in such a way that we would bear fruit?
It’s a bad idea as a Christian to have your devotion time with a Bible app on your phone? That is a bad idea. It’s a bad idea to have a Bible open, a physical Bible, and to have your phone right on the table next to your Bible. That’s a bad idea.
Technology has fractured us. We have such a short attention span. Like the moment we are trying to get into God’s word, we’re connecting, we’re that branch that’s connecting to the Vine, we get a text. And everything from that phone is screaming, urgent! You must attend to this now!
If possible, don’t put your work email on your phone. If possible. You don’t need to be bothered with that. You can open up your computer. You got to protect your sanity. You got to have some boundaries. If you’re distracted, you will never abide in the Vine in a meaningful way and you will never bear fruit.
John 14 precedes John 15 because there are things in our heart that are troubling us, that unless you deal with it, you will never get to John 15. We are distracted, and more seriously, we are disturbed. And so this morning, I want to ask, what disturbs you?
What disturbs you? I think often it’s people. A father, a mother, a boss, someone at church, a friend. And when we are disturbed, often times, we don’t deal with it. Instead, what do we do? We leave that person and you and your problems stay intact. That issue is not being dealt with. If you’re disturbed in your job, you might leave your job. But you’re still the same you walking into the next job. And I guarantee you’ll be disturbed again. And this pattern of being disturbed will follow you until you deal with it.
I am disturbed whenever I read the news. How can you read the news and not be disturbed?
So many people are lying. But they’re educated, they look sharp, they speak well and you believe what they say. They are lying to your face.
We’re distracted. We’re disturbed. You have to be able to notice — what are these things that disturb me? That agitate me? That stir things up in me? That upset me? You have to be able to locate them. Jesus will help you. And once you locate it, ask Jesus to bring His peace over that thing. Jesus’ peace can conquer that thing
We are distracted, disturbed, but more critically, we are divided. We’re divided as a society like never before. Probably not since the Civil War in America, we haven’t been this divided. Democrat vs Republican. Based on political positions, we’re so divided. And things are stirred up. And we want to lash out on the person who disagrees with us. That’s one form of division that I see.
But more critically we are divided in ourselves. Let’s turn to Luke 10. We’ve been looking at Martha and Mary for what feels like every week for a while. Jesus enters the home of Mary and Martha and Mary is sitting at Jesus’ feet. Just a picture of peace. A picture of calm. What’s Martha doing?
40 But Martha was distracted with much serving…
There are many people in the church who are distracted by their service to Jesus. And they never deal with what’s troubling them in their hearts because they assume, I’m serving, therefore, I’m good. I spent so many years in the church serving while ignoring what was troubling me in my heart. So do not make that mistake. It’s okay not to serve for a season until you first deal with your heart.
Does Jesus want you to serve Him while being troubled in your heart? While being anxious in your heart? Is He okay with that? Is He pleased with the sacrifices of your hands as long as you’re serving, as long as you’re showing up to church, as long as you’re attending meetings, coming on Sundays? Is He okay with you serving while having a troubled, anxious, distracted heart? From Luke 10, clearly, Jesus is not okay.
There’s nothing wrong with serving. If Jesus is coming over dinner, of course, somebody has to prepare the meal. There’s nothing wrong with serving. And at some point, all of us will serve, Lord willing. But the problem is Martha is serving with a troubled heart. You see it first in the anger. Second half of verse 40.
40 …And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.”
You see through the words, you see through the tone. I know that my heart is troubled when I have no restraint of my tongue. And my tone is harsher than it needs to be. I know my heart is troubled on those days. It comes out in the words. It’s expressed through the tone. Martha was angry — Jesus, tell Mary to help me. She’s annoyed. Why am I the only one sweating in the kitchen? How come she’s not pulling her weight? Doesn’t she live here, too? And there’s this irritation, this edginess, this harshness that is bubbling to the surface.
Spouses do this to one another. Parents do this to their kids. Friends, you may not see this side of your friend because you only see them for a set number of hours in a week. You’re on good behavior while you’re dating. But once you’re married, the harshness comes out to the people who are closest to you. The tone, the bossiness, the critical tone — like you did that again?
Like I get on Jackie’s case for driving and I have to ask the Lord to forgive me every time. Can you just be safe driver? Can you look over your shoulder before changing lanes? Can you not be so close to the car in front of you? Just slow down. And I have to watch what comes out of my mouth and the tone with which I speak. See, it comes out to the people whom you love — your spouse and your kids.
Before I was married and before I was a father, I thought I was a very calm, very laid-back person, but once you’re married, you will see yourself for who you really are. Because before that point, you’ve always just removed yourself from stressful people and circumstances. You don’t like this roommate, you just change roommates. Finally, in marriage, you’re stuck and this person brings out things in you you never knew you had and the tone comes out and the harshness of tone.
If you have a certain picture of yourself, that you’re this patient angel that floats in the clouds,
there will be a time of reckoning in your future when you will see yourself for who you are. If it’s not through your marriage, it will be when you start parenting a two year old who regularly throws a tantrum or a rebellious teenager. You will see the limits of your patience.
And you’re seeing in this case — Martha is revealing her heart. Truly, from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. And what does Jesus say to Martha? Did Jesus say, yes, good job. You’re serving. Good job. Keep serving. Does Jesus say, Mary, get off your butt. Why don’t you serve like your sister? She’s such a good example of a hard worker. Why don’t you be like her? Did Jesus say that? Jesus says to her, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things And this word “troubled” is the same word that Jesus uses in John 14. She is agitated. She is disturbed. She is shaken, stirred up, she’s upset. She is irritable.
Jesus doesn’t want servants like this. And the service is the distraction. And you will find your form of distraction. People in the church often use service as a distraction. But you will find your form of distraction so that you never deal with your heart. It’s going to be your favorite show, your favorite movie, surfing the web. For me, it’s news. I can spend hours and hours a week researching topics in the news. That’s how I know certain people are lying. Because two people are saying opposite things about the same incident. Somebody is lying.
And by spending so much time on our distractions, and in the church so much time on our service, we never deal with the heart. And Jesus only cares about your heart. That is such a loving thing. He’s not using you to get you to work. Like a company is using you. I hate to break it to you. The company is using you. The company does not love you. The company wants to extract something from you. As soon as you’re not producing, you’re gone. Jesus is not a user. He’s not an employer. He loves you. Meaning, He cares about your heart more than your service. Jesus cares about your heart.
That’s why at our church, we make it very clear — it’s not about serving. There will come a day when the Lord will give a green light, and based on an assignment, we will serve. But for right now, it’s not about the service. Jesus cares about our hearts, meaning, He cares about you. The thing that drives you, the thing that disturbs you, the things that bother you, that agitate you, Jesus cares about that. And only His peace can cover over and overcome those things?
What troubles you on the inside? And Jesus also says to Martha, you are anxious and troubled. Anxious is an interesting word. I never saw this before. Anxious means you are divided. Meaning, you are almost like a split personality. You’re pulled in different directions. And on the inside, you’re not whole. You’re just a part.
And we know because of the Fall, we entered this world not as a whole person. We entered as damaged goods. Our spirit was dead. Our soul was troubled. And our body is getting older and weaker by the day. We enter this world as damaged goods. But what Jesus does is — when it says His peace, did you know the word “peace” is to make you whole?
When Jesus says, I give you peace, His offer, His invitation is — I can make you whole. The parts of you that are split, that are fractured, that are divided inside of you, I can bring it all together. And you have to ask Jesus for this peace. His peace.
If you do not deal with this heart issue, wherever you go, you’re bringing the same you. You change the circumstance, it’s the same you. You get married, it’s the same you. You have kids, it’s the same you. Jesus is saying, deal with your heart first. Please deal with your heart first. Don’t worry about the service. Deal with your heart.
And there are certain things we can control. When Martha is being distracted with the service, it’s her choice to live that way. And it caused division in her heart. But she can control what she’s focused on. For her, it was about the service. Because she loves the praise of man. She wants to be seen a certain way. She wants to produce. She wants to be known as a hard worker. That’s her choice.
It’s our choice whether we’re going to keep being distracted by our cell phone and by the internet and by our favorite sports teams and just endless distractions. It’s our choice. We can control these. Remember, abiding in Christ, the branch has to stay close to the Vine for a period of time. It doesn’t form a bond in 10 second intervals. It won’t work. You have to stay there. Stretch it out for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour. The longer you abide, the greater the chance to form a bond and stay connected.
You gotta stretch your attention span in terms of your devotional focus. It’s your choice. You can either choose to stay distracted your whole life and your heart will never change and you will never bear fruit. Or, you can decide, I have to remove some distractions. For me, this week, Passion Week, I got to reduce my intake of news. I have to spend more time staying connected to the Vine. That’s my choice.
The other choice that we have is in John 14:27b.
27 …Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
To be afraid is your choice. You can submit to your fears. Jesus says, do not be afraid, meaning, it’s a commandment. It’s something we can control. Do not be afraid. Do not fear. It’s something we have to do. If you give into your fears, and maybe fears is a strong word, maybe just your anxieties, what if this happens, I need to take care of this, it’s endless. These fears and anxieties will fracture you and splinter you on the inside. It will divide you. That’s what anxiety does. Jesus says do not be anxious. Do not fear. These are things we must do. We can control these things.
You may think, how can I not worry? Doesn’t everybody worry? No, Jesus commands us not to worry. Do not worry. You must not worry. Anxietes fracture you. That fear is paralyzing you. Do not fear. Do not be anxious. Do not worry. Also, I would add — do not be distracted. These are things we can control.
After that, identify the things that trouble you in your heart. And ask Jesus for His peace.
Because His peace brings wholeness to you in a way that the world cannot. The world just treats the symptoms. Here’s some medication. Let me just numb the symptoms. Jesus goes for the heart. The thing that agitates you and disturbs you and irritates you, Jesus wants to cover that.
So what is the fruit of this peace? It’s the complete opposite of distracted, disturbed, divided. You are focused. There’s a focus when you pray. You can actually concentrate for more than 30 seconds. You can actually focus. Life was so much simpler when I was growing up. I remember when I was a college student how easy it was for me to focus. Before I had a cell phone, when email was just coming online and becoming popular. Can you imagine a day like that?
In college, I could focus and read my Bible for hours. I could have a devotional time that lasted for 10 hours. No problem. Now at times, I struggle to focus for 10 minutes. From 10 hours to 10 minutes. What happened? Satan is distracting us. We’re so fractured in my our minds. so many anxieties. No wonder our hearts are troubled. We got to put away the distractions. Also, we have to put away the anxieties. Did you know that anxieties are vulnerabilities? They split you.
We think, well, I mean, if I don’t worry about providing for my family, who is? Our heavenly Father is going to take care of you. You do not have to worry about providing for your family. You don’t have to stress about it. If you take God at His word, He says, do not worry. He will always give you enough food. He’ll always give you enough drink. You will always have more than one pair of clothing. That is the Father’s guarantee. That’s why you don’t have to worry.
So put away the distractions, put away the worries, and don’t be afraid of anything, of anybody.
Don’t be afraid. Don’t live for the praise of men. Because you’re afraid of men, you don’t do certain things and you do certain things because you’re constantly looking at other people. And you feel their gaze upon you. Don’t live that way
The opposite of distracted, disturbed, divided is focused, calm, and whole. That is what Jesus’ peace gives us. He makes you whole. He makes you calm on the inside. And you’re able to focus. And then John 15 will be a possibility. You can actually connect with Him. And stay connected for more than a few seconds or minutes. And there’s a real chance of a true bond forming between you and the Vine. And you can actually be grafted in, not partially, not the verge of being broken off. Now you can be firmly grafted in because you’ve connected and there’s a bond that is unbreakable that forms through time spent with Him.
And you can only do that if your heart is not troubled. Try to have a quality time with your spouse or with a friend with your cell phone on the table. Can you actually focus and grow in that relationship if you’re noticing all the notifications and every time something buzzes or beeps, you’re looking at it. Can you actually connect?
You know some people in their interview they keep their phone on the table. What is that person doing? Like, if I see that, I would never hire that person. Because the interview can’t even focus for 10-15 minutes. You can’t give me the dignity of giving me your full attention. We do the same thing with Jesus. We’re so distracted. We’re thinking about the next meal, the movie that’s going to come out, what we’re going to do on the weekend. We can’t focus even while we have our Bible open because our phone is there. Our mind is fractured.
Can you connect with anybody if every minute or two in your conversation, you’re talking about what you’re worried about? And your mind is wandering to that big deadline at work? Can you actually connect while worried? Jesus says, I can bring a focus in your life. I can bring a calm to your life, which means no matter where He places you, no matter what circumstance you face, on the inside you’re calm. On the outside, there could be a storm, but inside, there’s a peace.
Jesus’ peace does that for you. It brings a focus, it brings a calm, and most of all, it brings wholeness. Your body, soul, spirit is made whole. You’re one person again. You’re mind, will emotion is redeemed, made whole. Your mind, the thoughts that are unclean, that are improper, that are uncontrolled, these thoughts are made captive to Christ. Your thoughts are captive to Christ. That is a spiritual miracle. Your mind is renewed. You don’t think the same way — thought patterns relating to guilt and condemnation. No, your mind is made new. I am a son or daughter of God. I am confident. Nothing can stop me. The world can kill me. That’s the worst that it can do, but it cannot take away my salvation.
And your emotions, there’s a peace, there’s a lightness. There’s not a harshness. There’s no more irritability. There’s emotional peace. And the people that used to rile you up like your father, your mother, people from your past, they no longer bother you. Because Jesus’ peace has come in and made you whole.
So ask Jesus for His peace. I’ve described it as best I can. Now all you can do is ask for it. Only He can give it to you. Don’t settle for the world’s version of peace. It will not treat your heart. It only numbs the symptoms. And you think you’re at peace because you’re relaxing on the beach, but inside, there’s a storm. Only Jesus can give you this peace because it’s His peace.
Likewise, John 15 says His Joy. It’s not our version of joy or peace. No, Jesus says, literally, it’s His peace. My peace. My joy will be in you. How close do you have to be to the Vine as a branch for His peace and His joy to flow in? You have to be close. You have to be connected. And Jesus says, I will give you this peace, My peace.
Father, we come before You as children with troubled hearts. We admit that we are distracted by many things. When all You care about is our hearts, we care so much about so many fringe things. And we distract ourselves, we numb ourselves so that we never deal with our hearts. But you love us so much that you go straight to the heart.
Other people are fine with our output. Church leaders and bosses care about our output. You, Lord, are so different. You love us so infinitely more than these others. You care about our heart.
You see the anxiety. You see that our hearts are troubled. You see how we bow down to fear of man.
First, we want to choose today to remove the distractions from our lives. To obey your commandment not to worry, not to fear, not to be afraid. These are things we can do. And so Lord, give us an obedient heart to do these things.
Beyond that, what troubles us on the inside, we don’t know what to do. We can’t fix our heart, Lord. But Jesus, Your peace fixes our troubled hearts. It brings a focus and a calm and a wholeness. And it’s different from the world that just treat the symptoms. You go to the root, to the core, You go to our inner man.
We ask Lord Jesus for Your peace. Give us Your peace, Lord. Change us from the inside. Give us Your peace. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen