If Jacob, David and the other personalities of the Old Testament perceived the spiritual reality of God’s house as distinct from a literal Tabernacle or Temple we would expect that Jesus, God veiled in his humanity, would reveal the same. The first mention Jesus makes of his “Father’s House” was as a child and is obviously a reference to the literal Temple in Jerusalem. Following him having become separated from his parents for some 3 days after a trip to Jerusalem, we discover that Jesus had spend his time in the Temple debating with the adult theologians of his day. When traced by his frantic parents he told his mother – “You should have known I would be in my Father’s house.” (Luke 2:49 – NLT). As a young man Jesus would return to the very same building and drive out the merchants who traded there and, overturning the tables of the Bureau de Change and telling them – “Don’t turn my Father’s house in to a marketplace!” (John 2:16 – NLT).
But Jesus most famous reference to his “Father’s House” is not to an earthly Temple or building but to an unseen, spiritual house – “There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2 – NLT). The Authorised Version of the bible uses the terms “House” instead of home and “Mansions” instead of rooms. There is little doubt but that this statement drips with imagery from the Jewish betrothal and wedding process – for Jesus reveals himself as a bridegroom, leaving for his Father’s House in order to prepare a home for his bride.
Traditionally, after all of the transactions and planning for the wedding were completed, a young Jewish man would return to his father’s house in order to prepare a honeymoon cottage for his bride. However, before doing so he would make a speech to his bride outlining his intentions. This is exactly the imagery Jesus is using here – assuring his disciples that he is making a journey to his “Father’s House” for the express purpose of preparing a place for his beloved. He then assures them – “When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:3 – NLT).
Words fail to express the pleasure, joy, and celebration which will be experienced in “Fathers House” when this reunion takes place.
To be continued …