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In John 14:2, Jesus tells his disciples:

In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. (NIV)

What is Jesus referring to by "my Father's house?" Would the disciples have understood it as the temple? As heaven?

And what did Jesus mean by it - the temple, heaven, his own body, something else? The simplest idea seems to be heaven; but later in 14:23 Jesus talks about he and the Father coming and making his dwelling with the disciples (in my understanding by the indwelling of the Spirit) leading me to think he might be speaking otherwise in 14:2.

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4 Answers 4

The Temple in Jerusalem was known as "the house of God" (2 Cor. 5:14) and "the house of YHVH" (1 Kings 8:10). However, we may conclude that this is not the "Father's house" to which Yeshu'a was referring, since that very house would be destroyed in 70 A.D. The physical Temple in Jerusalem had no further relevance to the body of Christ after Christ offered the ultimate sin offering (Heb. 10:10).

The KJV translates the Greek word μονή (monē) here as "mansions," but in v. 23 of the same chapter, it translates it as "abode." The English translation of "mansions" comes from the Vulgate which has mansiones. The Latin word mansio, like the Greek word μονή, simply means "dwelling" or "abobe." It did not have the same sense that the English word "mansion" possesses today, i.e. a grand estate.

The Greek verb ἑτοιμάζω (hetoimazō), meaning "to prepare," also occurs in another Johannine text, Rev. 21:2, in which it is written,

And I, Yochanan, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared (ἡτοιμασμένην) as a bride adorned for her husband.

Many believe that the place to which Yeshu'a refers is "heaven," but may I say, I do not believe heaven needs preparation, for it is the holy abode of God Himself created in the beginning.

On the other hand, the holy city, new Jerusalem, comes out of heaven and is indeed said to be prepared (cp. Rev. 21:2). I would also propose that the holy city of new Jerusalem is the body of Christ itself, i.e. the Church.

For, just as new Jerusalem is said to be "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband," elsewhere, the apostle Paulos writes (2 Cor. 11:2), "I have espoused you to one husband, so that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ." Furthermore, he writes that (Eph. 5:25-27) "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it...so that he may present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish."

As both new Jerusalem and the Church are said to be the bride of Christ, I can only reason that new Jerusalem is indeed the Church, lest Christ be an adulterer.

If this is so, then the place that Yeshu'a is preparing is not only new Jerusalem, but the Church itself.

But, let each study the scripture and show himself approved.

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One of the two great themes of the book of John is that those who believe can have life in Jesus’ name. (John 20:31) In John 14-17 Jesus revealed the magnitude of this teaching, showing that he desires people to be one with him, just as he is one with the Father. In the next few verses after John 14:2, Jesus tried to emphasize that he was going to the Father. He did not emphasize that he was going to heaven (although by inference that is clear). He specifically emphasized that we was going to the Father, to be in the Father. (John 14:20)

Jesus started chapter 14 by talking about dwelling places. He carried that concept forward through the rest of John 14 and 15. In verse 23 he says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” This is where the Father dwells, where his house is – in those who love him and keep his word. Then again in chapter 15:4-5 Jesus said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” These are the dwelling places Jesus was talking about – abiding in him.

Jesus finally concluded his discourse with a prayer, saying, “I do not ask on behalf of these [the disciples] alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” Note that Jesus was not here praying for unity of believers with one another, as important as that is. He was praying for unity of believers with himself. He continued, “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:20-23) Jesus wants believers to be one with him as he is one with the Father. So when Jesus was talking about his Father’s house, he was talking about his own body. (John 2:21) He was talking about his Spirit dwelling in the hearts of those who believe in him.

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Welcome to BH, and thank you for this informative and well-argued answer. I look forward to seeing you around. –  Gone Quiet Aug 16 '13 at 0:18

We've got to keep in mind that he spoke these things to his disciples just a few hours before he would be arrested and Judas had already gone to betray him, so he comforts his disciples not to worry of what is about to happen, there are many mansions in my father's house (I believe Jesus is definitely referring to heaven), and I will go and prepare a place for you. I beleive the preparation the lord ment here was the work done on the cross , which gives us the access to the fathers house . He promises to come back to them to receive them; I'm sure the disciples would not have understood at that moment but later after the resurrection they would have understood (Luke 24:8). After the Lord's crucifixion the disciples were quiet lost and didn't know what to do (John 21) which is why the Lord told them, "I'll come back to receive you to myself." The reason i said (definitely heaven ) is because I believe, lot of things took place when Jesus died on the cross, we read that the lord had descended to the heart of the earth , where paradise and Hades was until his ascension,like what Jesus said in luke 16:19-31 rich man and the Lazarus, read also Matt 12:38-40 that is why he says to the thief that todat you will be with me in paradise, and then we read in Ephesians 4:8-10 “When he ascended on high (heaven) ,he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

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Hi and welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics. I've edited your answer to remove some of the more "sermony" parts that don't address the question asked here, which is about what is meant by the house references. We're a little different from other sites; we're not a discussion forum nor a Christian site, but a site for academic examination of biblical texts. We are looking for answers that show their work starting from the text, not just state a conclusion. Can you edit your answer to show a path from the text to your conclusions? Thank you. –  Gone Quiet Jul 15 '13 at 21:32
    
@stanly john. Hi! Why do you say "definitely heaven" when the scriptures still refer to Him as the Coming One? –  hannes Jul 16 '13 at 13:31

The idea goes back to Noah's ark, which contained many "nests," in which every creature, clean or unclean, that is, priestly or kingly, could rest in comfort and safety.

Taking it back even further, the Father's house was the Garden of Eden. Sin against the Father was theft of what was God's. Sin against the Son was Cain's murder in the Land. Sin against the Spirit was the godless intermarriage (the Spirit is the "matchmaker" who knits things together).

Adam was to speak as a prophet against the serpent, and present his bride as a chaste virgin to God. The account of Noah follows the same pattern. He speaks and the animals submit and come to him for shelter. For Christ, it is the "animal nations," and the shelter was the fulfillment of Booths in the first century. Jesus would become a tree of righteousness, food and shelter - all that Adam was intended to be.

In application, every man in authority is to be a shelter for those in his care, whether a husband, father, employer or leader. How does God turn a man into a shelter? As with Abraham, he puts him under a deep darkness, and cuts into him to make a holy place, a place in his bosom that is safe for the bride. She is the gemstones on his breast, which is a house of many rooms (the Tabernacle was humaniform, and the High Priest was the Tabernacle in miniature).

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-1. This doesn't address the question of "what is the Father's house that Jesus goes to prepare?" Also, you say Abraham, but I think you mean Adam. –  Frank Luke Jul 16 '13 at 16:46
    
@FrankLuke. I believe Mike is referring to the parody about the rich man in hell and the poor one that comes to sit in Abraham's bosom in the more pleasant compartment. So the House of the Father would after this view be in Hades. However, I am not sure Mike Bull would subscribe. –  hannes Jul 16 '13 at 19:20
    
@Mike Bull. You are supplying fireworks of references in many of your postings. Many of them are interesting. A few appear somewhat grotesque e.g. the animals in Noah's Ark as kings and priests. One might conclude the Bible were a work of references to references which again lead to references only to refer you back to where you started off. What will be left after all referential symbols are done away with? –  hannes Jul 16 '13 at 19:41
    
That's how the Bible works. It's a fractal. I have a free ebook coming out soon which shows how it works. It's amazing. BTW, the animals the ark substituted for the people who were preached to. Animals also pictured the nations in Peter's vision. But all symbols do have an original physical referent. –  Mike Bull Jul 17 '13 at 1:06
    
The difficulty with your approach is –  hannes Jul 18 '13 at 12:21

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