John 14 2-3
The Hope of the Father’s House
John 14:1-3 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Read John 14:1-3.
There’s lots going on in the world these days to trouble our hearts:
Iran about to obtain a nuclear weapon
War raging between Israel and Hizbullah
Continuing conflict in both Afghanistan and Iraq
Reports of a terror plot to blow up American flights over the Atlantic
But Jesus’ words to His disciples the night before He went to the cross were these: “Let not your heart be troubled.” We all know that as Christians, we’re not supposed to worry about things, but that’s easier said than done. You can’t just quit worrying about stuff by turning off some “worry switch.” Freedom from anxiety has to do with where we focus our mind and heart.
The whole of the Christian life can be summed up in 3 words: faith, hope and love. That’s how we’re used to hearing it, because most Christians are familiar with 1 Corinthians 13:13
But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
This is not actually the normal order for these 3 words. This triad of words occurs quite a number of times in the NT, and the normal order is: faith, love, hope.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 Remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Faith – focus on the past. Looks back to what Christ accomplished on the cross.
Love – focus on the present. Looks around at how we can reflect Christ’s love towards others.
Hope – focus on the future. Looks forward to Christ’s return.
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
Colossians 1:4-5 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel.
Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.
In John 13-16:
- Faith/Believe – John 13:19 “From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.
- Love – John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Hope – Idea expressed in John 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Jesus and the disciples had just sung Ps 118. Despite Jesus’ prediction of his coming death, verse 26 of that Psalm must have been sweet to their hearts:
Psalm 118:26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.
Proposition: Sorrows are put in their right perspective when we focus our minds and hearts on the blessed hope of Jesus’ return.
Interrogative: When I think of Jesus’ return, what features should I focus on?
Transition: In Jesus’ first clear reference to the rapture, He referred to 3 features of his return that His followers should focus on:
I. The Place, 2a - There is adequate space for every believer.
II. The Preparation, 2b - The space has been prepared for us.
III. The Passage, 3 - We will be conducted to that place.
I. The Place, 2a
There is adequate space for every believer.
“The Father’s House”
Used only 1 other time by Jesus, John 2:16 ? temple
Here, it is a reference to heaven
One’s father’s house is a frequent expression in the Bible for the place of one’s origins.
Abraham left, never to return (like Rachel, Leah, David
Jesus leaves but must return
In the Gospel of John, Jesus:
1. Was with the Father in His house for eternity
2. Was sent from the Father’s house to earth to redeem men
3. Would return to the Father’s house following His redemptive work
“Mansions” “Dwelling Places”
“Mansions” first in Tyndale, later in KJV (Wyclif had “In the hous of my fadir ben many dwellyngis.”)
µ??? one confirmed sense in Classical literature is that of a “stopping-place,” a “station.”
II. The Preparation, 2b
The space has been prepared for us.
“Prepare” - used especially of preparations for a meal
Matthew 22:4 “Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast.” ’
Matthew 26:19 The disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.
In this connection, Neyrey’s comment is interesting:
We may recall how Jesus, the day before (Mark 14.12-16) had sent two of his disciples ahead to secure “a large room upstairs” for the Last Supper. They did not ‘know the way,’ but had to follow the owner. Arriving, they found everything ‘prepared’ as Jesus had said. It looks as if here Jesus has made the disciples’ journey of the previous day into a parable of “eternity” in which the upper room foreshadows the home of God with its many habitations.
Hebrews 6:20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
Jesus, our forerunner, has entered into heaven to serve as our high priest. Thus, the preparations referred to likely include such things as preparing the wedding feast for the bride of the Lamb, and daily intercessory prayers of Christ before the throne of God on behalf of Christians.
III. The Passage, 3
We will be conducted to that place.
“Receive you to Myself” – Opposite of His second coming to the earth!
Aren’t you glad you’re not stuck in some S. Lebanese village, trying to find safe passage out of the country?
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
 Jerome H. Neyrey, The Gospel of John. New Cambridge Bible commentary. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006) 141.