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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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5 Answers 5

[Jhn 2:16, 19 NKJV]

16 And He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!" ...

19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

According to verse 16, the Father's house is the physical temple in Jerusalem. However, according to verse 19, the Father's house is now the spiritual temple of Jesus' body. Both are true statement because the physical temple in Jerusalem is an Old Testament type of the spiritual temple: the body of Jesus.

Initially the temple is only the individual body of Jesus, but through His death and resurrection on the third day, Jesus enlarges the Father's house to make room for all His believers. Now all His believers are part of the "resurrected" temple (1 Corinthians 3:16) to be the Father's house, the dwelling place of God in spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22) on the earth.

To accomplish this, Jesus has to go to the Father (John 14:2, 12). But where is the Father? Most Christians will assume that the Father is in heaven. But Jesus Himself said in verse 10 that the Father is actually in Him (John 14:10). This is because according to John 2:19 and 21 the Father has "moved out" from the Old Testament temple into the New Testament temple: Jesus. Jesus is now the New Testament Father's house. He is the moving-walking-living temple.

So between Jesus and the Father there is no separation. Jesus and the Father are indwelling one another. They are one! However, between His disciples and the Father, there is still a great spiritual distance.

Jesus Himself becomes the unique way to bridge this great gap by His resurrection that allows Him to give His divine life to His believers (John 14:6, 11:25). This connects John 2:19 with John 14:2 where He says that He will raise up the Father's house in three days.

So His going to the Father involves His going to shed His blood on the cross to remove the barriers righteously and reconcile the spiritual gap between God and man through His resurrection. Now by believing into Jesus, man can have access in one Spirit to, not just to God, but to the Father. This means His believers are no longer merely His creatures but His family, His household, His dwelling place on the earth: the enlargement of the Father's house.

[Eph 2:13, 16, 18, 19 NKJV]

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. ...

16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. ...

18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

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Yes, but you have not connected John 2:19 with John 14:2. –  H3br3wHamm3r81 Feb 11 at 4:03
    
@H3br3wHamm3r81 Sure, I add my edit to connect John 2:19 and 14:2. I also add Ephesians 2 to strengthen the conclusion. –  Indra Feb 11 at 17:13

JESUS is comforting his disciples, the context I believe is ultimately ENCOURAGEMENT, 1. IN MY FATHERS HOUSE - Who's house? The fathers, not the sons. It's the place where the Father lives - whether we call it heaven, the dwelling of God, the abode of God doesn't matter. 2. MANY ROOMS - it says what it means & it means what it says, don't complicate, draw from the word, don't put into it. In other words everybody who goes there will have a place. 3. I AM GOING THERE TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU - exegesis draw from the word I am going (JESUS) THERE, context of the previous quote,FATHERS HOUSE TO PREPARE to get ready, to adorn to make presentable for his bride.

I've tried not to put into the scripture here, simple interpretation will help us get a simple answer.

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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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@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

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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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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Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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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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