This is a much loved verse by many Christians as it has such a great promise and hope for those who are in the Lord. It is where Jesus says, “I go to prepare a place for you” and, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.”
What a wonderful image this presents. It has been the subject of many songs over the years singing about “My home is in heaven” and so on. So let us look a little more at this scripture to see what we can get from it.
The Death of Jesus
To put this scripture into context, Jesus had just been telling the disciples that he was about to go away saying, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now.” (John 13:36) Peter in his bravado said that he would follow the Lord anywhere, even to his death, and Jesus then told him that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed.
So what Jesus was saying to the disciples was that He was about to die. They did not yet know the manner of His death or fully understand the purpose of it, but Jesus would in due course open their eyes to understand the truth.
And then he says to them, “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.” (Verse 1) Jesus knew and understood that they would be devastated by His death and leaving them. He knew they would be troubled in heart and mind and they would not know what to do.
But the Lord also knew that He would rise again, and though He had told them as much, they lacked faith. Jesus also knew that at Pentecost they would receive the Holy Spirit and then they would carry the word of the Gospel to the world. But the disciples knew none of this yet and so were worried, troubled and upset by all of these words Jesus was speaking.
Jesus’ Words of Comfort
Jesus comforted them with these words saying in verses 2-3,
2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
He said that He was leaving but that He had other work to do, which included establishing their home in heaven. His plan was to establish the pathway to salvation, the way of righteousness and the method for overcoming sin in this life.
And by these things we could become mature in Christ and be acceptable before God and best of all, become members of the family of God. Sons and daughters of the Most High God! And all of this could not occur until Jesus died and left the earth to prepare the way, and to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house.
Think about when you are making something. For example, if you are cooking a meal or working on a DIY project. First you get the recipe or plan, then collect the ingredients and the tools and materials, and then begin to create the meal or build the project.
Well the Lord did exactly the same with us. The “project” he was doing was to make us new creations in Him so that we could live with Him in His Father’s house and kingdom. He began with a plan, which is described in the teachings and prophecies of the Old Testament, He pulled together the ingredients and tools, which are His words and the foundational teachings of grace, faith, repentance and so on. He provided the means to be recreated through baptism into His death and resurrection and He gave us the guides to transform us into the image of God through the Bibles we hold and the power of the Holy Spirit working in our life.
So Jesus has established all the things we need to find a place, “…in my Father’s house.” He has set the process in motion and we are progressing through His great “DIY” project to be completed in Him.
Faith is the Key
What we see too in this scripture that faith is the key to finding a room in the house of God. He says at the beginning of this scripture in verse 1,
“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.”
Here he says to the disciples not to be upset or troubled in mind but to have faith. Believe in God and believe in Jesus Christ. This is the key, as in everything to do with the works of God, faith is always the key. As the writer of Hebrews said,
And without faith it is impossible to please him. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
So here again the Lord was instructing the disciples, and through them instructing us, to believe and we would receive. You cannot receive anything from God unless and until you first believe.
And so although the disciples would suffer grief when the Lord was put to death, they needed to hold fast their faith for they would learn that it was to their and our advantage that this happened so that we might receive salvation and have a place prepared for us in God’s house.
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