The Father's House

John 14:1‑6  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 6
There is no portion we are more familiar with than John 14. Surely there is no chapter more frequently read and turned to for comfort-and rightly so. "Let not your heart be troubled." The Lord anticipates the disciples' being found in circumstances of sorrow and trouble. Of course He refers mainly to His own going away; but when He comes down to verse 27, and has spoken of His going away, and of giving the Holy Ghost, He again says, "Let not your heart be troubled."
Christ has been refused; men would not let Him remain here. He had a title to everything here, but He accepted this place of rejection. As long as the disciples had the shelter of His wing, they knew what it was to dwell under His shadow and have a place of refuge. Whatever opposition and trouble they met, they had One to whom they could go and tell their sorrows; they "went and told Jesus." No one can tell what it was to those disciples to walk in the Savior's presence here. Who can tell what it was to them to hear His voice, to have His ear ever open to them, and to know His care and His presence? Think what it was for these poor men, who walked in the company of the Son of God in this world, to hear Him say that He was going away, and that He was going to leave them in a world where He Himself met with rejection. He said He would not leave them comfortless; but they, for their part, looked at the terrible blank the absence of Christ would make to their souls. We must place ourselves in the very circumstances the disciples were in at that moment in order to understand it.
"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head." Matt. 8:2020And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (Matthew 8:20). He had not a place here, but He was going to speak to them about heaven, with which He was perfectly acquainted. He knew all that was there, though it was an entirely new revelation to the disciples. Where can you find in Scripture anything before about the Father's house? There had never been anything unfolded about it before, and now we speak about the Father's house as a place we have heard of all our lives! But think of the Lord's going away and leaving these dear ones He had drawn to Himself-ignorant perhaps, but they loved their Master.
In an earlier day (John 6), when the Lord had been speaking of His rejection, and some went back (men who had been outwardly near to Christ, and had seen what they had never seen before, but had no real link in their souls with Him- merely a passing interest-and when the moment of testing came, they parted company with Christ), yet still these disciples were true to Him; and when He said, "Will ye also go away?" there came that beautiful answer, "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." They could answer in all the certainty of what they had learned from Christ, and they could answer rightly. They were not intelligent perhaps, but where a person's heart is true to Christ, everything else will follow rightly.
Christ has gone to prepare a place for those that are His in this world. It is one thing to have a place prepared outside this world, and another thing to have it prepared inside this world. The gospel of God does not propose to prepare a place for us in this world; there is the unfolding of that which is heavenly, and not the giving us a place or anything down here in this world. Christianity gives us the most wonderful circumstances outside, but it does not propose to give us anything in this world.
"Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." We have God before us as an object of faith. The invisible God, they had believed in; now the Lord was going away, and He was to become an invisible object likewise, but He claims their faith. The Savior who stood upon this earth is now up in heaven, but He is just the same Lord Jesus and, in the midst of our sorrow, we can know how real a thing it is to be brought into personal acquaintance with Christ in heaven.
"I am the way, the truth, and the life." There is no other way to God. The fact of Christ saying He is the way, declares that man has lost the way. What man wanted was a way back to God, to the Father; and Christ says, I am that way. And, He is "the truth" as to everything-the truth in relation to God, in relation to man, in relation to time, in relation to eternity-and if you do not know Christ, you do not know the truth about anything. Your judgment of things in this world is a false judgment if Christ is unknown to you. And is He not "the life" too? He claims these three things for Himself.
Having claimed their faith, He speaks of His Father-a new thing to them. Who can tell what the Father's house is? It was home to Christ. Christ had not a home here; He came from heaven, and He measured things here by it. He saw the poverty, the sorrow, the ruin, and death here; and He came down from heavenly glory to tell us what the Father was in Himself, to open up the way to Him, and to speak of the Father's house. Is not that a divine reality? Supposing it were possible to annihilate the opening verses of John 14, would you feel a blank as to the future? Supposing you had never read them before, what a revelation it would be to you! What could be more wonderful than that the Savior should tell us all about it? It is as if He said, I do not propose to find you comfortable nests down here, and to guard you from every anxiety; but I open up a place for you in heaven.
A place! That is the whole thing in this chapter. No place here, but a place in heaven, a place for man, a place in the Father's house. And when the soul has learned that, it has got hold of divine possessions, of surroundings which God has given for our comfort in this world.
The place which Christ prepared for them is prepared for every believer in Christ today. Our place was prepared the moment Christ went in as a man. If Christ is your Savior, where He goes you go. Christ never goes anywhere that the believer has not a place with Him. As a man on the ground of accomplished redemption, He goes up into glory and there prepares a place. We have a place in heaven, not among men, but a place, a present place, in heaven. The moment Christ is our Savior, God is our Father, and, in virtue of what Christ has done, we are brought into the family of God; and that which is proper to the family, is the home. You never get into the thought of verse 2 unless by meditation and prayer before God. The Father's house is greater than the glory of the kingdom.
A Christian is a person who can stand in this world and say, I am ready at this moment to step into the Father's house. As surely and as really as Christ stood on this earth and told them what He was going to do, so surely did He tell them that He was coming back. Do you believe Christ is coming for you? I do not mean, Do you believe in the second coming? but, Is it Christ coming for you? If you believe it, it would settle ten thousand things for you. It is blessed! It is the heart of Christ which will find out in this world every loved one, wherever they are; the heart and eye and hand and almighty power of Christ will gather them out of this world. That, next to the cross, will be the greatest expression of divine affection. Do you know that may take place now? There is not a word of Scripture to be fulfilled ere He come, and, before another hour has passed, Christ may be here. We do not know what the circumstances of the rest of our pathway may be, but we do know Christ is coming.
Have you weighed and measured everything connected with you in the light of God's eternity? Can you say, Thank God I have a Father, and a place in the Father's house; and thank God I have a future so brilliant and so blessed that nothing can touch or disturb it? Is it not wonderful? that Christ is really for us, that notwithstanding the poverty of our testimony for Him, His heart has not grown cold, and He never loved His people more than at this moment. He was never in greater activity for them. You can look up to heaven and say, Christ never loved me more than at this moment, and He is only waiting to have me with Him forever. One moment we shall be here, and the next moment up there, received unto Himself. Then there will be no separation from Christ forever. Is it not beautiful?
But the moment Satan gets anything in between our souls and the coming of Christ, it has no power over us. If the coming of Christ is a near thing to you, it has power. Make it tomorrow, and its power is gone; you cease to wait and to watch. Christ has been refused here, but He is accepted there; and the weakest saint that ever looked to Him is dear to Him, and He will come and fetch that one.
May God make His coming the next thing to us!