Yesterday we finished up John chapter 13, and today we begin John chapter 14. As we begin John chapter 14 keep in mind that everything that has happened so far and that will continue to happen up through John chapter 17 all occur on the same day over a range of a several hours. And as I said yesterday we are going to see Jesus comforting his disciples as we start John chapter 14.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.”—14:1-4
In this chapter, Jesus explained to the disciples why it was better for them that he depart than remain. He gave five reasons why his going was to their advantage: he was going to prepare a better place (vv. 1-4), to show them the way to the Father (vv.5-7), to provide greater intimacy of relationship with the Father (vv. 8-11), to enable them to do greater works (vv. 12-14) and to send the divine helper (vv. 15-31). This section of the discourse unfolds through a series of questions that began with Peter’s question in John 13:36. The atmosphere in the room would have been extremely tense. The disciples likely felt Jesus’ mission was unraveling right before their eyes. Yet even though Jesus himself faced his greatest crisis, his concern was still for his disciples.
Chapter 14 begins with Jesus continuing to answer Peter’s question from the previous chapter about his departure. Jesus encouraged the disciples not to lose heart. He urged them to believe in him as they believed in God. As Jews, the disciples would have been shocked by the concept that Jesus is equal to God. Jesus wanted them to understand that his departure was beneficial. He was going to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house. Then many rooms in the Father’s house are a vivid way of depicting ample room in heaven for all of Jesus’ followers. Jesus assured them that they knew the way to where he was going.
Now let’s circle back and look at verses 2 and 3. And first we are going to look at verse 2, which says, “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?” The phrasing of this verse clearly refers to heaven, the place to which Jesus was retiring to prepare a place for his followers. God’s eternal home has many “rooms,” implying permanent “dwelling places.” Members of “God’s household” now on earth will one transfer to their eternal home with God. “For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).
Now let’s turn our attention to verse 3, which says, “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.” As surely as Christ went to heaven, he will return to take his followers to the place prepared for them. This was the hope of New Testament Christians, and it is the hope of all Christians today. And we see four very big things that we can glean out this short verse.
- The ultimate purpose of the Lord’s return is that his faithful people may be with him forever.
- The words “take you to be with me” refer to the rapture, when all followers of Christ (those who are still alive at that time as well as those who have already died) “will be caught up together…in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). This will take place suddenly and at an unexpected time.
- Christ’s coming for his faithful followers will enable them to escape the future “hour of trial” and judgement that will come on the world in the end times.
- The expectation of this glorious and eternal reunion should be a comfort to all who desire to “be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:17-18).
And we will pick up for here tomorrow as we look at Jesus sixth “I am” statement.
Tomorrow Bible’s Readings:
1 Kings 7, Acts 7:30-50, Psalm 128:1-6 and Proverbs 16:31-33
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