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John 13 Part 3: A Troubled Spirit

When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, ...

John 13:21





Who hasn't been troubled in their spirit? Something happens or doesn't happen and we feel overwhelmed inside. Being troubled in spirit is different for each person. But we all know what it means to have that unquiet spot that is causing us grief.


One of the comforting things for Christians is that Jesus knows exactly what it feels like to have a troubled spirit. Quite a few times the Scripture mentions Jesus as troubled or as troubled in spirit (John 11:33; John 12:27; John 13:21). In this case, Jesus was troubled about being betrayed by one that He had loved. He had chosen the twelve, but Judas Iscariot had chosen to love money rather than Jesus. This created a conflict between Jesus and Judas that we can see play out in Scripture (John 12; Matthew 26; Mark 14). Jesus knew what was happening in the heart of Judas and it troubled Him.


We have all been there too. We have had a troubled spirit for others and what they were going through. Sometimes that has been worse than our very own troubles. We have wept and grieved and prayed and loved for those close to us that are struggling with their own issues. Jesus wasn't just troubled about what He was facing. He was troubled about the people He cared about--and He even cared about Judas. He wouldn't have chosen Him otherwise. They had shared a friendship, otherwise He wouldn't have called Judas "Friend." (Matthew 26:50)


The Bible tells us that we have a High Priest who knows what it is like and can sympathize with us. He was tested just like we are. He knows what it is like to have a troubled spirit. So we can go to Him and receive strength, mercy, and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) He will be our strength in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1) Jesus will teach us how to rely on Him just as He learned to rely on His Father (Luke 22:42-44). He will be our Shepherd and guide us through the struggle of a troubled spirit.


Blessings to you!

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