A Mansion Just Over the Hilltop?

Does John 14:2 teach that every individual child of God will have his own mansion in Heaven? Could it be that Jesus was referring to something even better than that?

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 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 if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also (John 14:1-3).

The word translated as “mansions” simply means dwelling places, places to live (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon). This Greek word is only found one other time in the New Testament, and it is in the same chapter, translated as “abode:” “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23). Obviously, in John 14:23 Jesus was not saying, “My Father and I will make our mansion with him.” The word “abode” simply means a place to dwell, and Christ dwells “in our hearts by faith,” which comes from the Word of God (Ephesians 3:17; Romans 10:17; cf. 1 John 4:15, 16).

There is only one house under consideration in John 14:2: “my Father’s house.” In our Father’s house are many places to live (like rooms in a house), and Jesus is preparing places for the faithful where the Father is now. The image is derived from those vast oriental palaces, in which there is an abode not only for the sovereign and the heir to the throne, but also for all the sons of the king, however numerous they may be (Godet, Vincent’s Word Studies).

Dear brother or sister in Christ, if you had a choice, would you choose to live by yourself in Heaven with your own mansion, or would you choose to live in your Father’s glorious Heavenly Palace with the rest of your spiritual family? To those motivated by love rather than materialism, Heaven will surely be more wonderful having our own places to live in the Father’s house as a family, rather than being separated from others in separate mansions.

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