In John chapter 13 we read about the Lord knowing that it was time for His departure from this word. Verse one reads, “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father,”. Jesus told His disciples that it was time for His departure from them. As expected, the disciples were crushed at the news. Peter wanted to follow wherever it was that Jesus was departing to, but Jesus answered him in verse 36, “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.” The disciple’s hearts were greatly troubled. It was then our Lord told them, (14:1-3) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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. 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.”
This passage of Scripture has been preached upon countless times (as well it should). Jesus encouraged the heart of His disciples with these powerful words, and these same words have encouraged the hearts of countless saints since in times of heartache, loss, and despair.
We all have heard sermons preached on this topic and especially the “I go to prepare a place for you…” I believe, because of our sensual materialistic flesh, we make the focus of this verse the MANSIONS. We are strong to preach that we do not have a “room” prepared for us, but a Mansion (AMEN to that). We use the ‘easy amen gett’r “If our Lord created the universe and all that is in it in 6 days, think of how great our mansions are going to be if He has been preparing them for 2,000 years (admit it…you have ‘amen’ed that J). Problem is, it is not Scriptural. Before our Lord said, “I go to prepare a place for you,” He said “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Problem is, the mansions were already there!!
So that brings us to question, what was to be prepared? Heaven was already there. The mansions were already there. The golden street was already there. So what was to be prepared? I believe the answer to that was also given by our Lord to the disciples in “that where I am, there ye may be also.” Jesus wasn’t there.
Now before you get all super spiritual on me, I know Jesus is omnipresent, but Heaven was not prepared at this time. You see, our Lord knew He had to still go to a cross, He still was to shed His blood for you and I. Following His death, He would descend to Paradise, lead the Old Testament saints from Paradise with His blood toward Heaven. Upon entering Heaven, He would present the BLOOD as payment for all mankind’s sin before a Holy God. We would be declared Justified! NOW, a place was prepared.
That is why in chapter 13, Jesus told Peter that “Whither I go, thou canst not follow me NOW.” But afterwards…after He would die upon a cross, after He would resurrect, after He would present His blood before a holy God, after our sin debt was declared JUSTIFIED….NOW we can follow Him, NOW a place is prepared, NOW we can go to Heaven!!
Heaven is not a mansion or a street of gold; Heaven is an eternity with God and His Son Jesus Christ. The disciples heart was encouraged not in the fact that there were mansions, but in the “where I am, there ye may be also.” We focus on the materialism too much! Praise God His Son prepared a place, through His sacrifice and shedding of blood, so that we might forever live with Him!!