“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? 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.” John 14:2-3
A few years back, I attended a parade of homes as a charity fundraiser. I was walking up to this lovely, impressive home… some might call it a mansion. Truthfully, I was doing some self-talk with each step, “enjoy but don’t lust over the counter tops and furnishings you are about to see!” I was greeted by a sweet sister in Christ who often brings a refreshing word. She smiled at me and said something like: “well, hello Ann Coggin, welcome to this lovely home, I’m hoping mine in heaven is very similar.” This was not her house, she was volunteering for the charity and greeting visitors. She had no idea the battle I was bracing for as I walked into that space, but God did. And He placed my sweet friend right there at the doorstep to remind me that my room in His house is secure and glorious, so no need to concern myself about what I don’t have here and now. Through her lips, His ancient works broke into my today and changed it.
My friend was pointing me to the facts Jesus shares in John 14:2-3. Typically, we hear this verse read at funerals and I put it on a sympathy card to encourage those who are grieving. It is a precious promise to the dying and grieving in Christ. But it is also a promise that should inform the lives of all who are hustling out life here and now.
What does it change for you the God has built a room in His house for you? A place where you can have a home that will never perish, spoil or fade? The builder has the best taste, an unlimited budget, and access to all wisdom and knowledge. The architect also designed the Grand Canyon, the Gulf of Mexico, the Serengeti, the Great Barrier Reef, the human body, the sun, moon and stars, every bird, flower, fish, animal, plant and much more! What does it change that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare your place in God’s great house and will return to take you to inhabit it personally, specifically, forever because He wants you to be where He is?
These are words Jesus said to “comfort” His disciples. Comfort in the bible is not some soft cuddly blanket or warm bath to relax us. I once heard it said that God’s comfort is a ramrod up your back to strengthen you. As He prepared to offer Himself on the cross, knowing the fear and grief His disciples would soon face, He offered this ramrod up their back – I’m going to prepare a room in my Father’s house specifically and uniquely for you and I will come back and take you to it. This truth was meant to anchor these men through unspeakable hardship, and it did. Their hope in this better home motivated them to lay down most every preference and earthly comfort and security in order to leverage their life to invite more and more and more to inhabit their Father’s house. (see Acts and Hebrews 11)
In fact, if you read (or listen of at http://www.bible.com) to John 13-17, you will hear much about how having a secure home if the Father’s house impacts our life when we actually believe it. In 14:1, Jesus commands disciples to refuse to let their hearts be troubled. How is this possible? Well, it’s possible by remembering where your home is. In 14:6 Jesus says He literally is the way to that home and when we believe that fact, our lives take on a power to do what Jesus did on this earth and even greater things. The teaching keeps coming, line by line and verse by verse until Jesus starts praying this truth into the lives of these disciples and into the lives of all who will believe in Him in the future.
Maybe John 14:2-3 is exclusively for the grieving, but aren’t we all grieving? Aren’t we all grieving the loss of the glory we were meant for? Aren’t we all grieving the effects of the sin and shame we chose, and others chose? How can you take comfort (strength) from Jesus’ promise that He has a room in His Father’s house prepared for you today because He wants you to be with Him forever? With what fellow “go getter” can you share as a refreshing word today?
Note: One way I have been able to set my mind of the realities on Heaven more is to listen to the wonderful teaching on Heaven in the Abridged version of Heaven Is Your Real Home by Joni Eareckson Tada. It’s available many places, but here is the link to purchase through apple books: Https://books.apple.com/us/audiobook/heaven-abridged/id1441484252
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. http://www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Offices by Biblica, Inc.™