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. — John 14:2. Christ is today preparing a place for us in His Father’s House. As a result, we are to be assured that we should not worry because every day draws us a day closer to getting back home.
Life is all one big journey back to the Father’s House. The good news of the Gospel is that Jesus is already there preparing a place for us.
From the time we are born, we start on the journey back home. Good Christians, therefore, through the years, serve the Lord gladly in various capacities in the church, in the world and in their homes and are given to great hospitality, all in hopes of one day seeing the place Jesus is preparing for us.
Jesus started this dialog in John 14:1-11, saying “Let not your hearts be troubled, trust in God, trust also in Me.” It can all be summed up in the first verse. Today, so many of us are troubled, worrying about jobs, bills, gun violence, war and the future of our youth. This verse is designed to teach us how to keep trouble from entering our hearts. When moments of worry, anxiety, fear or even death enter into our lives, Jesus says, “Trust in God and trust also in Me.”
According to John 13:22, Jesus has this conversation with His disciples as He observed their earlier behavior. Christ saw on their faces a look of great concern as He discussed His betrayal by Judas, His persecution and His coming death. The whole conversation in John chapter 14 is a continuation of Christ’s comforting talk which started at the table of “The Last Supper.”
During a recent visit to the office of my primary care physician, Dr. Gershwin Blyden, we discussed how important it is to understand we must live every day as if the curtain of life is closing. We also discussed the building of legacy, using a day-by-day approach of obeying and trusting in God and by taking Godly steps each day and leaving tomorrow’s steps also to be ordered by God.
For all of us, the curtain is closing and one day we will each face our final curtain call. You should be comforted to know that Jesus is gone ahead to prepare a place for you.
Christ also said there are “many mansions in the Father’s House” for those who are following Him. He promises He would go there and get your mansion ready and that He will come back and take you to be with Him.
Christ knew, as many of His disciples know, that we sometimes have to look upon the suffering of our loved ones before they make their final transition and that is hard to do. Christ knew that His disciples were going to see Him tortured, abused, mocked and then put to death. And they loved Him, trusted Him, chose Him and left all to follow Him.
Christ knew they would not only be disappointed by His death but also would look foolish for having left everything to follow Him. He knew they would feel deserted and exposed, because of His passive death at such a young age (33). And the disciples knew from earlier experiences what little power of mind they had when such hard times had befallen them before.
Now what would they do? Who would lead them? They thought they would be ruined. But Jesus told them not to worry, they wouldn’t get lost, because, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6). He promises they wouldn’t make bad decisions because “The Father will send a helper in My name, the Holy Spirit, and it will teach you all things” (John 14:26). And they wouldn’t be alone, either, because, through prayer, “You may ask Me for anything, in My name, and I will do it.” (John 14:4)
I can hear Jesus saying now what He said back then: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. So do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” for “I have gone to prepare a place for you.”
The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door UCC in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or pastor@churchoftheopendoormiami
betrayal by Judas, His persecution and His coming death.
*The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door UCC in Miami’s Liberty City community. He may be reached at 305-759-0373 or firstname.lastname@example.org