John 14.2 cont.
2 In My Father’s house there are many rooms, if there are not, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
Many people will be familiar with these verses. They are often quoted at funerals in an attempt to bring comfort and consolation to the bereaved. They are words of re-assurance for believers in Jesus, confirming that when we leave this world we will go to a place that Jesus has prepared for us.
We may be aware that a number of translations use the word ‘mansions’, instead of ‘rooms’.
The Authorized Version uses the word ‘mansion’, therefore, that is the word with which most people are familiar. However, most other translations use different words, such as: rooms, dwelling place, lodgings, resting places, and homes. In Elizabethan England these were also the meaning of the word ‘mansion’.
The only other time this word occurs in the New Testament is later in this chapter, where it is translated as ‘abode’ or ‘home’.
We must ask how the disciples would have understood what Jesus was saying. It will become clear that they were unsure of what He meant. It would seem as though their minds were still fixed firmly on this present world, even though Jesus said that it was in His Father’s house (Heaven) that these dwelling places are. Their hearts and minds had not progressed to thoughts of their eternal state. We know that they had given up everything to follow Jesus. This is what Peter had said to Jesus, and the reply of Jesus was:
29) “Sincerely I say to you, there is no one who has left a house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields on account of Me and on account of the gospel
30) who will not receive a hundred times as much houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and houses, with persecution, but in the coming age eternal life” – Mark 10.29-30.
It is possible that the ‘many rooms’ that Jesus spoke about was what the disciples saw as a fulfilment of these prophetic words of Jesus.
What the disciples would have realized was that a change was approaching, and it was a change that needed them to be strong in their faith in God and in Jesus.
It is inevitable in our walk with Jesus that we will encounter change, and we must be ready for whatever changes Jesus brings to us. We must meet change by putting our faith in Jesus.