“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” John 14:2
When our hearts are troubled by the thought of the evil in us and in the world, Jesus tells us to believe in God and to believe also in him (v. 1). He then encourages us with the promise of a place prepared for us in heaven. The hope of a place in heaven is meant to be a source of continual encouragement and refreshment for troubled Christians. This life is not the end of our story. For the Christian this life is only the beginning of what God has in store for us. We cannot fully comprehend the glories that await us in the life to come. Yet it is amazing how much we learn about heaven from this single verse in the Upper Room Discourse of Jesus.
We learn here that heaven is a place. Many people think of heaven as a state of mind. They do not believe that heaven is an actual place. The Bible presents heaven as a place that is as real as
. The Bible speaks of heaven as a new earth, new temple, and China (Revelation 21-22). All three designations speak of place. Heaven is a place defined by the presence of God. It is where the Father is, and since the ascension of Jesus, it is where Jesus is sitting at his right hand. God may dwell everywhere because he is omnipresent and not limited by the constraints of time and space, but heaven is where God chooses to dwell and manifest the fullness of his blessed existence. Heaven is the place where the presence of God is not interrupted by the miseries of sin and evil. There is no sadness, sickness, or death in heaven (Revelation 21:4). Heaven is so inexpressibly wonderful that no eye has seen or ear heard or the heart of man imagined what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9), but God has revealed these things to us by his Spirit in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 2:10). We do not have a full description of heaven in the Bible, but we have enough to ponder our future with our sanctified imagination. Jesus emphasizes the fact that heaven is a place in this verse. He says that his Father’s house has many rooms. There is plenty of room in heaven for the followers of Jesus. There was room for the disciples and room enough for us today. I have seen many beautiful homes in this life, but none can compare with our Father’s home. Heaven is our home. It is our place. Let us never forget that our earthly accommodations are but layovers on our flight to heaven. We are pilgrims who seek the city that is to come (Hebrews 13:14). new city
We also learn from these verses that heaven is a prepared place. Jesus ascends to prepare a place for his followers. As if it were not enough to be told that we have a place in the Father’s mansion! We are told here that Jesus himself has prepared a special place for his followers. Who knows us better than Jesus? Who knows our needs better? Who knows our wants better? Who knows our personality better? No one! “Believe in God; believe also in me.” Let us trust Jesus to prepare a place for us in heaven that is exactly what we need and desire. Because Jesus is God and knows all about us, he is perfectly suited to this task. What does he have in store for you?
We learn here that Jesus has not only prepared a place for us in heaven but that he has promised us a place in heaven. We should underline the fact that Jesus has not promised a place to everyone. He has promised a place to those who believe in God and believe also in him. If we believe in God and in his Son Jesus, then Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven. But this is a promise. Jesus says, “If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?” No! Jesus does not lie. He always tells the truth. He is the Truth and speaks the truth. Heaven is not a fairy tale for weak minds. Heaven is real. It is real because the One who died and rose again tells us that he goes to prepare a place for us. It is not just a good idea or wishful thinking or a hope that will give you a positive attitude but is not actually true. No, heaven is true because Jesus our Lord has made a promise of a place prepared for each one of us who believe. Christians do not believe in heaven because they have watched a documentary on TV about the afterlife. Christians do not believe in heaven because they read a book about a boy who died and went to heaven and allegedly returned to talk about it. Christians do not believe in heaven for philosophical reasons about the immortality of the soul. Christians believe in heaven because of the words of Jesus. Our faith is based in the words of Jesus, not in the reason or wit or science of men. We believe that we have a place prepared for us by Jesus in the Father’s house because Jesus told us. And would he have told us if this were not so? Let us believe his words!