This is part 2 of a series. Click here for Part 1.
“Let your heart not be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in Me. In My Father's house there are many rooms. And if not, I would have told you. For I go on to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and I will receive you to Myself, that where I am you might also be. And you know where I am going and you know the way.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how are we able to know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, if not through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also. And from this time you have known Him, and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and that is enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “I have been with you such a long time, and you do not know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. And how do you say, ‘Show to us the Father?’ Do you not trust that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I speak to you, I do not speak from Myself, but the Father Who is abiding in Me does the works. Trust Me, that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me. And if not, trust because of the works themselves. Truly, truly I say to you, he who trusts in Me, the works that I do, he will also do, and he will do greater than these, because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, I will do, so that the Father would be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name I will do it.” (John 14:1-14)
The first portion of this is usually taught as referring to Jesus' ascension & His preparation of a mansion for His people. That interpretation is wrong and ignores the context. Firstly Jesus says "I go away so you can be where I AM." Where is Jesus? He is not in heaven. He is in the Father. At one point Jesus outright says, "I am in the Father" & later says, "I go to the Father." Jesus is saying that He is going to the cross which will, in death, take Him to the Father. His work of salvation on the cross "prepares a place" in the Father for those who trust Him.
Secondly Jesus says, "I will come again" If this was speaking of His second coming, as most assume it does, then Jesus would have carelessly been ignoring the plight that came for His disciples while He was arrested, crucified, & in the grave. His promise to come back again speaks of the resurrection! Jesus said, "I will receive you to Myself." He received His disciples to Himself after His resurrection and gave them the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).
What Jesus later says in John 16:16 further confirms this, “A little while, and you will no longer see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.” Jesus said it would be "a little while" before they would see Him again after He had gone away. This again confirms that He was talking about His resurrection because He was in the grave only a little while, especially when compared to the thousands of years & counting we are waiting for Him.
Thirdly, the thought of going to heaven wouldn't haven been encouraging to His disciples because, while He was dead, they would be doubting that Jesus was who He said He was and that He spoke the truth. Jesus was speaking of the resurrection, His return in a "little while." None of them trusted in the resurrection until they saw Him. Why would Jesus be trying to encourage them about going to heaven when they die or about His second coming if they were facing His imminent death which seemed to invalidate Him & everything He said?
Being in heaven is nothing compared to being in the Father! Those who are not in the Father will go to heaven for judgment and will not rejoice about it. Those who are already in the Father have endless reasons to rejoice right now! A place in the person of the Father is more important than the place of heaven. We are in the Father's house. We have been received by Jesus. We are with Him in the Father.
"You have been raised to life with Christ, so think about the realities of heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right hand of God. Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life, your real life. When He appears, then you too will appear with Him and share His glory!" (Colossians 3:1-4)
This Side of the Cross: The Night of Jesus' Arrest
2. Jesus Goes to Prepare a Place in His Father's House † We Live in The Father
3. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments † I Will Love You So You Will Trust Me
4. Remain in Me † You are in Me