“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 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 14:1-2 NIV).
I remember when I was a little boy in Sunday School. Those were days when being able to recite a lot of Bible verses in the King James Version was the ultimate proof that you studied your Bible regularly. One of the many Bible verses we learnt by heart was John 14:1-6. Whenever we got to verse two and the King James Version talked about “Mansions”, I imagined one of the many I had seen in movies and hoped that one day, one of them will be mine when I get to Heaven. (Who no like better thing?)
You used to think that way too right? Infact, a lot of us look forward to “inheriting” a mansion in Heaven; a “reward” well deserved. After all, was it not Jesus Christ himself that said there were many mansions in His Father’s house? And His Father now happens to be our father. This promise is surely yea and amen! (Yeah right).
Some of us have even learnt that how beautiful your “mansion” will be or how many “rooms” it will have, is dependent on how much you “work” for God. For some, it is how much money you give. What are we not hearing these days? We are so much in tune with this side of eternity that we compare everything here to what we will find in the Kingdom. The Bible will speak of a crown of glory, we will start imagining a physical golden crown or something made of some kind of precious stone. The scriptures will tell us about blessings and we will start thinking of money, but I digress.
Truth is, the greatest disservice we can do to the verse quoted above is to think that Jesus was promising a reward. He was in fact telling us the need to reach the world. Jesus never promised anyone a mansion. Mansions and all other things that your mind can imagine are too small to be the inheritance that was prepared for us before the foundations of the world began. Or have you forgotten that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man? We are not talking about inheritance just yet. The crux piece is to tell us what Jesus meant when he said there were many mansions in his father’s house. What he was saying was that, “see guys, in my Father’s house, there’s enough room for everybody. Everybody is welcome. My going is to make sure of that.” 1 Peter 3:9 corroborates this by saying the Lord is not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. That is why He gave you and me the great commission. All he was saying about mansions was “Go get them! There’s enough space for you and them!”
The twisted understanding many Christians have about the verse comes from “I better pass my neighbor” mentality— So long as we are faring better than others, it’s Okay. That was the same problem the Pharisees had. They knew it all. They were the ones who knew and did the law. They were the ones sure to make Heaven. They looked down their noses on the “filthy” masses who had “missed” the way of the patriarchs. While their noses were still raised to the high heavens, they missed the Messiah!
Some of us are so proud to say, “I’m the only Christian in my family.” We “thank God for our life” when we look at the lives of some of our relatives, friends and acquaintances. We shake our head sadly as we see them “missing it”. For those of that have every member of the family in the faith, we look round our neighborhood and see a lot of sin and perversion; we sigh, shield our family in, and say “as for me and my family…” You know the rest.
The truth? We are becoming so Heavenly conscious but earthly irrelevant. We are not supposed to be the saint while everyone else is a sinner. We can’t be “chasing” Heaven and rewards while people are perishing. We are called to be the light of the world, not the judge of the world. We should not stand in self-righteousness and look down on a world that needs a helping hand. Our mandate is to get as many as we can. The world does not need more Pharisees, it needs a lot of ordinary people cut from the mould of the Saviour. The world does not need Christians whose pursuits rises and falls on having a mansion in Heaven; it needs those who will populate the Kingdom of Heaven with souls. The question for you is this, are you one of them?