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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 14 - Verse 2

Verses 2,3. In my Father's house. Most interpreters understand this of heaven, as the peculiar dwelling-place or palace of God; but it may include the universe, as the abode of the omnipresent God.

Are many mansions. The word rendered mansions means either the act of dwelling in any place (Joh 14:23), "we will make our abode with him"), or it means the place where one dwells. It is taken from the verb to remain, and signifies the place where one dwells or remains. It is applied by the Greek writers to the tents or temporary habitations which soldiers pitch in their marches. It denotes a dwelling of less permanency than the word house. It is commonly understood as affirming that in heaven there is ample room to receive all who will come; that therefore the disciples might be sure that they would not be excluded. Some have understood it as affirming that there will be different grades in the joys of heaven; that some of the mansions of the saints will be nearer to God than others, agreeably to 1 Co 15:40,41. But perhaps this passage may have a meaning which has not occurred to interpreters. Jesus was consoling his disciples, who were affected with grief at the idea of his separation. To comfort them he addresses them in this language:

 

"The universe is the dwelling-place of my Father. All

is his house. Whether on earth or in heaven, we

are still in his habitation. In that vast abode of

God there are many mansions. The earth is one of them,

heaven is another. Whether here or there, we are still

in the house, in one of the mansions of our Father, in

one of the apartments of his vast abode. This we

ought continually to feel, and to rejoice that we are

permitted to occupy any part of his dwelling-place.

Nor does it differ much whether we are in this mansion

or another. It should not be a matter of grief when we

are called to pass from one part of this vast habitation

of God to another. I am indeed about to leave you, but I

am going only to another part of the vast dwelling-place

of God. I shall still be in the same universal habitation

with you; still in the house of the same God; and am going

for an important purpose—to fit up another abode for

your eternal dwelling."

 

 

If this be the meaning, then there is in the discourse true consolation. We see that the death of a Christian is not to be dreaded, nor is it an event over which we should immoderately weep. It is but removing from one apartment of God's universal dwelling—place to another—one where we shall still be in his house, and still feel the same interest in all that pertains to his kingdom. And especially the removal of the Saviour from the earth was an event over which Christians should rejoice, for he is still in the house of God, and still preparing mansions of rest for his people.

If it were not so, &c.

"I have concealed from you no truth. You have been

cherishing this hope of a future abode with God.

Had it been ill founded I would have told you plainly,

as I have told you other things. Had any of you been

deceived, as Judas was, I would have made it known to

you, as I did to him."

 

I go to prepare a place for you. By his going is meant his death and ascent to heaven. The figure here is taken from one who is on a journey, who goes before his companions to provide a place to lodge in, and to make the necessary preparations for their entertainment. It evidently means that he, by the work he was yet to perform in heaven, would secure their admission there, and obtain for them the blessings of eternal life. That work would consist mainly in his intercession, Heb 10:12-13,19-22; 7:25-27; 4:14-16.

 

That where I am. This language could be used by no one who was not then in the place of which he was speaking, and it is just such language as one would naturally use who was both God and man —in reference to his human nature, speaking of his going to his Father; and in reference to his divine nature, speaking as if he was then with God.

Ye may be also. This was language eminently fitted to comfort them. Though about to leave them, yet he would not always be absent. He would come again at the day of judgment and gather all his friends to himself, and they should be ever with him, He 9:28. So shall all Christians be with him. And so, when we part with a beloved Christian friend by death, we may feel assured that the separation will not be eternal. We shall meet again, and dwell in a place where there shall be no more separation and no more tears.

{c} "I go" He 6:20; 9:8,24; Re 21:2

{d} "prepare a place for you" He 9:28 {e} "where I am" Joh 12:26; 17:24; 1 Th 4:17

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