My daughter met her true love in South Korea. They were both working at International schools there – each one subsisting on a modest educator’s income.
He felt it was important that he get to know the parents of his future bride. We met him at the airport on a cold December night and made the drive to our home.
We lived in a modest ranch style house of about 1,400 square feet – but he didn’t know that. So, when we turned down the street with the illuminated million-dollar mansion on the corner, I pointed to it and said to my wife, “Oh honey did you leave those lights on again?”
Boy did he perk up! He thought he was marrying into money until we drove on and pulled up to our little bungalow.
He wed our little girl anyway, and we are glad he did.
So, what kind of house would you like? May I tell you what you are promised?
Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2 KJV
These are familiar words with a foreign meaning. How can a house contain mansions?
Jesus was reaching back into the culture of His day. When a young Jewish couple was engaged, the young man would prepare for his bride by building a one-room house that would become their home.
It would be erected on his father’s property and adjacent to his father’s house. As each of the father’s sons married, they would do the same, so that over time – there would be multiple homes, built around a common courtyard.
The whole complex, even the courtyard, was considered to be the father’s house.
According to John 14:2, heaven is our Heavenly Father’s House. Jesus called it a “place.” It was a specific destination – a workplace where He would prepare eternal homes for each of His people.
He underscored and italicized His words by saying, “If it were not so, I would have told you.”
Heaven is a wonderful literal place.
Jesus went on to say, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:3 KJV
Once that Jewish young man had finished building his house, he would return to his bride, formalize the marriage and escort her back to move into their cozy home.
In the same way Jesus promised to return for those He loved. We will accompany Him back to the Father’s house to move into that special place He has prepared for those who belong to Him. This is how Paul described the event in 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17,
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians. 15 For we tell you this by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, 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, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.” – NET Bible ®
I love this! It says to me that Jesus longs to be with us, even more than we long to be with Him.
And yes, heaven is a place, but most importantly, heaven is a person. The essence of heaven is just being with – united with Jesus.
Hmm – Looks like we have married into something way more valuable than money.
A PRAYER: Lord, when I get caught up in the grind of this life, help me contemplate the great things to come.
This has been Jim Johnson with pickleheavenpress.com
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ truly be with you.