In my Father’s house there are many mansions there, in my Father’s house above… and we know how the rest of the song goes right? This song is gotten from the popular scripture John 14:2.
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. (KJV)
However, are we to assume that God is building mansions in heaven? Is the reason Christ hasn’t returned because the buildings haven’t been completed. If we don’t win enough souls, do we stand the chance of living in an uncompleted building for all eternity? All this and many more have been drawn out from this wrongly interpreted portion of scripture. Now put on you bible study caps and let’s see what Jesus actually meant.
- My Father’s House: The first words we come across are “In my Father’s house”. However, we see in the Greek that the word “house” there usually referred to either a physical house or a family. For instance, the word “house” used in Matt 12:25 referred to people not structure. In Matt 2:11 however, it referred to structure. So how do we know which it is here? Simple! We look at the rest of the verse.
- Mansions: The word “mansion” in the Greek is simply translated “residence” or “place of stay”. It is actually only used twice in the whole bible, here and in verse 23 of the same chapter. It’s no wonder newer translations such as the NLT use the word “room” instead. Others such as the HCSB use the word “dwelling place”. Looking at both verse 2 and verse 23, it becomes easier to understand that Jesus is referring to us abiding or being a part of God’s house. Why? Because there is enough room for more people!
- I go, to prepare a place for you: And finally, “I go”. What did Jesus mean by that? Was He going to supervise the construction? Or to supply more materials? Definitely not! Thankfully, we see all through the book of John, Jesus used that statement “I go”. In John 8:14 – 22, John 13:33,36, we see this statement being repeated over and over and it becomes quite clear that He uses that phrase to refer to His death and ascension to the Father. We apply that to verse 2 and we see Jesus simply saying He is about to die, and through His death would a place be prepared for us. His death is the reason we can have a place in God’s house!
So you see, Jesus wasn’t referring to real estate. He was simply telling His disciples that by His death and ascension, we would have a place, we would be included in God’s family and that my friends is the true meaning of John 14:2. Here’s a more accurate interpretation:
In my Father’s house(family), there are many dwelling places(there is a place for you), I go (I’m going to die, resurrect and ascend) to prepare a place for you(so that you may be included there).
So next time you come across that verse, don’t think real estate!
God bless you!