“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”John 14:2-3
Many people like to take a look at this verse and simply call it promise from Jesus that we all get a mansion with lot of rooms. But I believe that many of us lose the imagery that Jesus was painting for His disciples, who were Jews. What exactly was he expressing to them? Let us look and see what the Jewish perspective would have been. I think it may really open your eyes.
In the Jewish culture, the patriarchal society was one where the father had much responsibility. It was the father’s job to gather all the money, livestock, goods and wealth to place them under his control and be the sole source of fulfilling the needs of the family. If someone in the family needed a new cloak, they would go to the father, who would see to it that it was supplied to them.
The father, who was the eldest of all the family, had the responsibility to provide housing for the entire family. All his younger brothers, their wives and children, all his unmarried sisters, all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren lived in this dwelling place. The father had to make sure that there was ample room for all in which to live in harmony. This dwelling place was called “the father’s house.”
The father, who is called the beth ab in Hebrew, was also directly responsible for the financial obligations of the family. For example, if one of his brothers got him self in deep financial trouble, it was the obligation of the beth ab to pay the debt and bring his brother back into the family. If one of his nephews happened to get kidnapped, it was the responsibility of the beth ab to seek out the nephew and get him back to the family. Remember the story of Abraham, who gathered an army and went to war to get Lot? He was fulfilling his responsibility as the beth ab to redeem his lost family member.
Once one of the sons was getting married, the father was obliged to provide the means to prepare a place for the son and his wife in which to live. However, it was the job of that son, to build it, and to hire whatever help he needed in order to build his dwelling place for his soon-to-be-bride. Their dwelling place, prepared by the groom, would be a part of the father’s house.
So, in this verse, we see Jesus as the groom, telling His bride, who is the church, that He was going back to His father’s house to prepare our dwelling place. When Christ returns to earth to gather the church, His bride, then we will be able to live in the Father’s house in the place that Jesus has prepared for us. Not only that, His father, our beth ab, is obliged to fulfill all our needs, and to redeem a lost family member whenever they may go astray.
What a beautiful picture of what Jesus was telling us in these verses!


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