Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” If you were a child, and most of us are still like little children, you might picture loads of mansions somehow or other being crammed into one giant house, you might also find yourself thinking: so right, God has got a giant house and in that giant house are many mansions, shouldn’t it be the other way around that God has the big mansion and somehow or other we all get the little houses that are inside that mansion? But then you find yourself wondering: what does Jesus mean by house? And what does He mean by mansions?
This whole conversation about houses and mansions took place when Jesus was in effect saying goodbye to His disciples. He knew that their whole world was about to be shaken up and even crash; Jesus had been with His disciples for three and a half years and here he was saying goodbye to them and he was saying to them,
“Let not your heart by 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.” (John 14:1-3).
So this wasn’t one of those small goodbyes, it was in effect one of those goodbyes that you might say on your deathbed or if you’d just been told that you only had one or two days left to live. Jesus knew that He was going to be betrayed that night and from then onwards everything would become traumatic for everyone, the disciples would find themselves traumatised by this whole experience, so much so that they would run away and hide, Jesus of course was going to go through two traumatic trials and hearings and was going to be whipped and crucified and so when Jesus was saying to the disciples, “let not your heart be troubled” this is where it was all coming from, He was about to leave this world in a very very distressing way, they would see Him three days later but ultimately He was leaving this world! He was leaving His disciples and they wouldn’t see Him again for a long long time and so He reassured them that they would see Him again and that He was going to prepare a place for them, a place where they could all be together as one and not only a place where they could all be together with Jesus but also a place where we could all be together with Jesus and all in this same sense, living together under one roof, in one giant house with loads of what you might call apartments (mansions) in that one house.
You find yourself thinking that when Jesus used the word “mansions” that what He was saying was that He was going to prepare someplace really special. Usually when you think of a mansion you think of a proud building belonging to a proud owner so you then find yourself thinking that it can’t all be about pride because Christians aren’t supposed to be into pride and why would you need a mansion! Mansions have loads of rooms in them and usually people who live in mansions only have loads of rooms in their mansions so that they can show off to other people and boast of how important they are so surely it can’t mean mansions in that sense of the word! The picture you get is that Jesus has prepared a place for us all so that we can all live together as one and in that place are many many rooms or in that same sense, many many different apartments with many rooms and though there are many different apartment and rooms they won’t be all cramped up together. Most mansions you see on earth are pretty spacious places, there is plenty of room to move about in and they usually have giant gardens and they are often built in the midst or surrounded by woods and fields and hills etc. So you find yourself thinking that living together under God’s roof will be your wildest dreams come true! If you are a Christian then you are the bride of Christ, therefore, Jesus is your husband! So Jesus has gone back to His Father and our Father to prepare for every one of us a wonderful place to live in and all under God’s one roof!
The other interesting thing about mansions is that they are all different, none of them are the same and people who buy them buy them as a reflection of their own personalities and they also buy them because they say something about the owner, that they are actually somebody and not nobody. So in God’s house everybody lives in a mansion that says they are a somebody although not in a proud way. In God’s house everybody is important, everybody is somebody, everyone is special, everyone has an important role to play, everyone has a special part to play, everyone is needed by everyone, everyone is loved by everyone, everyone has the fruits of God’s Spirit, everyone is loving, long-suffering, kind, considerate, everyone operates together in one accord and in total agreement, everyone sees each other’s points of view and respects each other’s rights, everyone shares, everyone serves instead of seeking to be served, everyone loves God and loves everybody else also, everyone loves Jesus and everyone else also: so why wouldn’t everyone want to live under one roof as one big happy family seeing as you all get on so well together! And seeing that everyone has a mansion then all those rooms that are in that mansion will constantly be filled up with family and guests and all those rooms would never be empty, they would always be filled with loving friends, brothers and sisters and loving occupants. People might come and stay for days, weeks, months, years even and you might go and stay for days, weeks, months, years even and the wonder of all wonders there is that nobody is ever lonely, everybody is loved and they love in return!
John 17: 21 “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”