“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
Let us take a moment as we begin today’s study to put ourselves in the shoes of the eleven disciples who remained with Jesus on the evening of the Last Supper after Judas left to betray Him. These men had just heard Jesus predict that Judas would turn on Him and then watched the traitor depart to do his evil deed (John 13:21–30). They had also heard that Jesus was going away and that they would not be able to follow Him, at least not yet (vv. 33, 36). Furthermore, they had also heard Him tell Peter that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed (v. 38).
If we had been in their place, we would certainly have been greatly troubled. As the truth of Jesus’ predictions regarding His own passion began to be fulfilled, we would worry about our own future without His presence. Knowing that His disciples felt such fear and anxiety, our Savior gave them words of comfort that encourage us also today. Today’s passage gives us these words, telling us that ultimately, Jesus’ departure was for the benefit of His people.
Jesus began by telling the disciples to believe in God and to believe also in Him (14:1). That Jesus can so closely connect faith in God with faith in Him says much about His own view of His person and significance. If anyone else were to make such a connection, he could be accused rightly of idolatry, but Jesus could do so because He is God incarnate (1:1–18). Moreover, that Jesus called for the disciples to believe in Him shows that there is only one lasting source of peace and comfort for the Christian, and that is to trust in Jesus.
Our Lord did not stop at telling the disciples to continue to believe in Him, but He also gave them some encouraging words. Jesus was not going away for His benefit but for theirs, for He was going away to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house (14:2–3). The idea here is not so much that Jesus was going to heaven to get things ready in heaven for His disciples’ arrival, though that idea is a legitimate inference from the verses we are considering. Instead, the emphasis is on the fact that Jesus would be preparing a place for the disciples in His passion. In His death and resurrection, He would be opening up the way for His disciples to be citizens of the kingdom and inherit eternal life in God’s blessed presence (see also v. 6). Jesus’ return to glory along the path that went through the cross, into the tomb, risen on the third day, and on high in the ascension guarantees salvation for His people.
Coram DeoLiving before the face of God
There are many rooms in the Father’s house, which means there is ample space in glory for all who trust in Jesus alone. Even now, Jesus is preparing a place for us, a place that will be far better than the best this life has to offer. When we are discouraged, we should remember this promise that Jesus is preparing a place for us, for it will help us press on in faithfulness to Him.