Should ‘In My Father’s House’ be taken literally?

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In John 14:1–3,

famously, Jesus declares as follows.

The conventional interpretation of the passage above asserts Jesus refers to being prepared either right here on earth, or in heaven for those who believe in Him. If the ‘New Jerusalem’ that comes down from heaven in is home to such physical mansions, then both sides are sequentially right. The physical mansions initially are prepared in heaven, that is, in God’s ‘House’, but then, in form of the New Jerusalem, come down to earth.

The only snag to the supposedly feasible sequential interpretation?

In the description of the New Jerusalem, only and and are described (Revelation 21:9–27), there is not any description of houses or domiciles inside the city.

What then are described as being in the city (Revelation 22:1–2)?

If the New Jerusalem contains Physical Mansions prepared by Jesus for those who believe in Him, this cannot be inferred from the description of the New Jerusalem that is provided by Jesus Himself to Apostle John.

Christian Scriptures are filled with allegories and symbolisms. A ‘’ typifies (Isaiah 48:18). A ‘’ typifies or (Zechariah 8:3; Psalms 26:6; Jeremiah 31:23). ‘’ typify , , or (Psalms 36:5; 57:10; 68:34). The number ‘ typifies Completeness of a Pre-existing agenda, and Commencement of a New Agenda (Genesis 2:1–2 & John 5:17); etc.

The question then is, “are we able to discover, in Christian Scriptures, some allegorical or symbolic usage of the term, ‘’ that enables us arrive at some metaphysical, equivalently, spiritual interpretation for those famous words in John 14:1–3?”

In this respect, consider the following words in respect of Moses and Jesus in Hebrews 3:1–2, 5–6; 1:1–2; John 5:45–47.

The import of all of the preceding Scriptures is clear, unequivocal. Metaphysically, spiritually, or symbolically, a ‘Mansion, that is, House’ equates to a spiritual purpose, which revolves around testifying to goodness of God in context of all of the messages and activities entrusted to a person by God, Father of The Lord Jesus Christ.

For additional concreteness, consider that those who believe in Jesus are asserted to be God’s House (Hebrews 3:6), that is, God’s purposeful creation. If believers are God’s house, then if God builds you a house, much like Moses, your house consists of the outcome of the work that you do for God, work that benefits persons in respect of whom God considers you a leader or an example. In this respect, Apostle Paul declares as follows in 1 Corinthians 3:9–11; 12–13.

Since all believers consist in a house that belongs to God, it cannot be fellow believers in Christ who constitute your house.

Rather, it must be the case that it is the work that you do for God in His House that is spiritually transformed by Jesus into your spiritual house.

The Thesis & Evidence for a Spiritual House that is built up from your Works?

In presence of all of the foregoing, when Jesus declared, in John 14:1–3, that He is going to build mansions (houses) for those who believe in Him, He declares spiritual transformation of works done in His name, and in context of purposes that revolve around ministrations to spiritual and physical needs of others into spiritual houses.

For those who engage with His purposes, Jesus promises spiritual mansions in the heavens.

In the use of the word, ‘mansions’, Jesus tells His disciples that there is not any purpose fashioned by Him that ought not be considered a grand purpose.

The evidence?

How does a person who believes in Christ offer spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ?

In the preceding five Scriptures, we find, severally, (i) evidence for from God; (ii) evidence for a prepared in the heavens that is eternal; and (iii) evidence that it is spiritual sacrifices (works) offered up to God through Jesus Christ which are transformed into a spiritual house that is customized to a person who believes in Jesus Christ. Immediately, we arrive at the following inference.

Absent any works, a person who professes faith in Jesus Christ cannot have a spiritual house that is prepared for him or her in the heavens by Christ.

In presence of the evidence, in John 14:1–3, Jesus promises to transform all of the spiritual sacrifices offered to God in context of performance of good works by those who believe in Him into a spiritual house, eternal, kept in the heavens for those who maintain their confidence in Him unto the end of their sojourn here on earth.

Given those who reign with Christ, reign with Him spiritually in the heavens (Ephesians 2:4–7), the spiritual house created by God is a house that supports eternal life: that is, a house which receives the water of life, a house in which is the tree of life, and a house in which God reigns (Revelation 22:1–2). Concerning the spiritual nature of the reign of God, Jesus declares as follows.

The evidence for validity of a spiritual interpretation for, “In My Father’s house there are many mansions” is unequivocal.

Is it possible that Jesus refers to physical mansions in John 14:1–3? , but we do not have any supporting proof for physical mansions being prepared in the heavens in all of the rest of Christian Scriptures.

For interpretation of ‘’ as referring to a spiritual entity that is outcome of God’s transformation of all of our good works into a spiritual house having its own unique spiritual substance, however, we find plenty of proof. While your house and mine have their own unique spiritual substance, this because you and I do not serve God in exactly the same capacity, the foundation of your house and mine remains Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11), meaning my house is not better than yours, and yours is not better than mine.

In presence of the evidence, it is best that we hold on to interpretation of ‘house’ for which we have validation in Christian Scriptures, as opposed to a conventional interpretation that is rooted in some longstanding misunderstanding of intent of words spoken by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In respect of wisdom of holding on to the interpretation for which we have evidence, consider this exchange which transpired between our Lord Jesus Christ and His original 12 apostles in Luke 18:28–30, and declarations about Abraham and Moses in Hebrews Chapter 11.

If, when Jesus promises rewards, houses are located in this life (in this time), and what He promises in the afterlife is eternal life — a spiritual house that is eternal (2 Corinthians 5:1), and a city that has foundations () — it is wise to believe in that which is firmly shown to be promised by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

But what then about , and , and of the New Jerusalem? Well, consistent with a spiritual interpretation for the term, ‘House’,

You see then, that all of the allegory of the New Jerusalem can be seen, in entirety, to be spiritual, as opposed to physical. This is evident as follows.

If you are to be saved:

Absent challenges, no one ever really gets any stronger. A person might wish to grow their biceps; absent lifting of weights, that is, absent imposition of a challenge on those biceps, those biceps will remain the same, will not change.

If kids are taught exactly the same thing from Kindergarten through K12, if they develop their minds, it will not be because they go to school.

In the unequivocal nature of evidence for the spiritual interpretation of the terms, ‘’ and ‘’ in John 14:1–3, I pray that you allow the Holy Spirit reason with you, tear you away from a traditional interpretation that is not supported in Christian Scriptures, and direct your faith, hope, and love to efforts here on earth that enable Jesus prepare for you a spiritual house that remains yours in all of eternity.

In Jesus Name. Amen.

Written by

Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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