A Place Prepared
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
By saying, AIn My Father=s house are many dwelling places@ (v. 2a), Jesus provided much comfort. He did not stop there. He offered even more assurance.
John 14:2b (Holman) A. . .if not, I would have told you.@
Jesus’ words on the after-life were definitive. He authoritatively set Himself forward as the Revealer of what Heaven is like.
Jesus did not speak as if He were speculating, or depending on second-hand information. He spoke as One who had seen and experienced Heaven. He was like one who had stood on a mountaintop, and who later told His friends in the valley what he had seen.
What Jesus said of Heaven was not poetic language. He was speaking to be understood literally. He was too knowledgeable to be mistaken, too honest to misrepresent, and too kind to mislead.
Jesus knew no one could point to any incident in His life which would justify our doubting His truthfulness. His verbal verification was guarantee enough.
Jesus’ straightforward honesty was evident in all His words. Jesus never hid from anyone anything that was painful. He made no false promises.
No one can ever say Jesus duped them into believing in Him. He never promised a primrose path, or presented the Christian life under any false pretense. He always spoke bluntly of the sacrifices people would have to make to follow Him (Luke 9:57-58).
He forewarned us about persecution, hatred, setbacks (Matthew 10:16-22). He said a cross would be inevitable (Matthew 16:24). Fortunately, Jesus realistically presented not only the negatives, but also the positives, of the Christian life.
The same honesty that led Him to tell of difficulties ahead in this lifetime also compelled Him to tell of the glory His followers will enjoy at the end of their Christian walk.
We must trust God to grant us security in the hardships of this life, and must count on Him for safety and happiness forever more, when this life is over.
John 14:2c AI am going away to prepare a place for you. . .@
Jesus was leaving Earth to make it possible for believers to enter Heaven. For sinners He was going to give His all, His very self.
Jesus made Heaven possible for us. The dwelling places in His Father=s house will someday be ours only because Jesus prepared them for us.
This preparation on our behalf took place at the cross. He made Heaven ready for us by making it accessible for people in a fallen state.
Christ did not enlarge or adorn Heaven. It had existed long before the foundation of the world.
Jesus’ role was to remove obstacles that kept us from entering Heaven. Jesus’ blood opened Heaven for us.
Our path to Glory was made possible – every step of the way – by Jesus’ death. He became our Advocate, an Attorney to secure our title.
A Master preparing a place for servants is strange. It upsets the ordinary rules of decorum.
This reversal of proper procedures was obvious in all of Jesus’ ministry. His whole life was a grand display of astounding humility.
Wherever Jesus walked on Earth, He was, so to speak, out of place. Even mounting the throne of Rome would have been beneath His true glory.
His whole incarnate life was a stoop, a condescension. And the reason for it all was to prepare a place in Heaven for believers.
John 14:3a A. . .If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back. . .@
Jesus crucified and buried brought darkness on the disciples, but it was caused by a deep love. The same love that sent Jesus away also brought Him back.
He who went away as the Forerunner was not satisfied until He returned to serve as Guide. Jesus came back to the disciples physically after the Resurrection, came to them through the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and will come again in triumph at his second coming.
In addition to these public comings, He comes privately to each of us at our conversion and death. When we are born again, Jesus comes to live in us. When believers die, Jesus comes to guide them home.
A saint=s dying walkway is hallowed by the Master=s footprints. With Him as our companion, the lonely road will not be dreary.
John 14:3b A. . .and receive you to Myself. . .@
A precious thought — He desires fellowship with His followers. His preparation for us indicates He wants us near himself. It feels good to feel wanted.
It is an honor when someone prepares for us. Every little deed is appreciated. It means we are special.
We want to feel wanted. Knowing we are wanted in Heaven should especially delight us.
We may sometimes feel we know little about Heaven, but we know what we need to know. Jesus is there, and He wants us to come live there. This is enough knowledge to cause faith and to set our minds at ease.
John 14:3c A. . .that where I am you may be also.@
We will be in Heaven with Jesus forever. Being assured of wonderful things ahead should steady us in struggles today.
Our faith in coming glory can calm us in the trials of life. A good future makes the present more palatable.
Asked why there should be a future existence, an English nobleman answered, ABecause, on any other hypothesis, the world would be a piece of magnificent nonsense.@
Paul echoed this sentiment. AAnd if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone@ (I Corinthians 15:17-19). Our peace of mind in the present is based on believing in the after-life promised to us by Jesus.
Asked if there is an after-life, philosophy responds, ASomething might be out there, but we cannot be sure.@ Science will say, ANo concrete evidence substantiates it.@
False religion claims, AOf course, but we can’t be sure it is for us.@ Even our own personal speculations are fickle; today we say no, tomorrow we say yes.
When Jesus is asked if there is an after-life, all doubt dissipates. Light suddenly flashes through the gloom.
Christ revealed the method of salvation, and also revealed the result of salvation. He has prepared Heaven for His followers.