And I will start with a question…
Is Jesus preparing you a mansion in glory for when you die and go to heaven? Or, was He referring to something else?
I remember hearing preachers talking about the fact that it took God six days to create the world but He’s taking 2,000 years to prepare this place for us. How glorious it must be! And we would speculate about this mansion and joke about whose would be bigger. If you’re over 40 years old, there’s a good chance this is familiar to you.
Then, there are the hymns of old about our mansion in glory…
A mansion is waiting in glory,
My Savior has gone to prepare;
The ransomed who shine in its beauty,
Will dwell in that city so fair.
Oh, home above,
I’m going to dwell in that home;
Oh, home of love,
Get ready, poor sinner, and come.
(“A Mansion in Glory” by Daniel S. Warner – 1911)
Of course, this sentiment comes from the King James Version of 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.”
And I embraced this idea of a future mansion awaiting me wholeheartedly…that is, until I actually read what Jesus was saying several years ago. And that’s why I’m bringing this up.
First, we must understand that John 13:31-17:26 is one single discourse. This was the last thing Jesus taught His disciples before being betrayed, on the night before His crucifixion.
When you read this discourse as one message you find that Jesus was telling them, and us, how to actually do what He did (John 14:12)—live like He did (John 17:21-26)—as a son, empowered by the Spirit and living from the Father’s embrace. I wrote about this briefly in “Where are we going?”
Unfortunately, our traditional idea of “mansions in glory” comes from the King James rendering of the Greek word, μονή (monē). The Word is only used twice in the New Testament, both times in the same passage (Jn.14:2, 23). It means “a stay in any place; an abode, dwelling, home.”
The problem is, the English word “mansion” means something particular to us. Other translations render it in a less confusing way–for example, “dwelling places” or “abodes.”
Here’s the only other use of the word in Scripture…
“Jesus answered and said to him,
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;
and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him and make Our home [monē] with him.” John 14:23
Of course, the context of everything in John 14 is when the Helper, the Holy Spirit, comes–when Jesus sends the promise of the Father (John 14:16-17, 26).
So, when does Jesus and the Father come and make their “home” with us?
And if this is what Jesus is talking about, why do we make up stories about getting mansions in glory when we die and go to heaven? Don’t we have this “mansion” now?
Jesus seems to think so.
In John 14:16, Jesus says the Holy Spirit will come and “abide with you forever.” In John chapter 15, Jesus tells us how to “abide” in this “abode.” The Greek word for “abide” is μένω (menō), by the way. That is, we are to abide in Christ via the Holy Spirit indwelling us, right?
Well, here’s my point.
If we have to wait to die to get our “mansion in glory,” then we cannot possibly abide in Christ now.
That would be impossible. Do you see this? Again, looking at this passage in context, the abiding we are to do is in this “dwelling place” that Jesus talking about in John 14:2.
Furthermore, Jesus tells us directly that He is “coming to us” to make His home in us with the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:3, 18, 23, 28). There is no eschatological reference here. They all pertain to the coming of the Holy Spirit to live in us–our “mansion,” if you will.
Beloved, you have been seated in heavenly places in Christ already (Eph.2:6), you have come to Mt. Zion, the city of God (Heb.12:22). Your citizenship is in heaven from which you eagerly wait for Jesus to return to earth (Phil.3:20).
You have your mansion in glory living in you right now…
“To them God willed to make known
what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles:
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col.1:27)
Don’t live another moment like a religious orphan, like the elder brother who had everything but availed himself to nothing that His father had (Luke 15:31).
Don’t wait until you die to enjoy your mansion in glory. Go there now!