In the latter part of His earthly ministry, Jesus encouraged His followers with a promise that is much-loved and often quoted:
"Let not your heart be troubled; you 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" (John 14:1-2, NKJV).
Soon after making this pledge, Jesus was crucified, resurrected and He ascended into heaven. Evidently, before He left, He wanted to assure His disciples that He was planning for their eventual transition into a heavenly realm as well. Both the KJV and the NKJV translations use the word "mansions" in prophetically describing our ultimate destination, but are large, luxurious homes what Jesus had in mind when He gave this pledge?
There are four main reasons we live in homes in this physical world: so families can dwell together, to protect us from the elements; to provide a safe place for eating and sleeping; and to store our possessions. Quite likely, none of these things will be necessary when we become glorified saints, shining like "the sun" in the kingdom of our Father (Matthew 13:43).
Where Is 'God's House'?
Notice Jesus said these "mansions" are located in the "Father's house." Ponder that wording for a moment. Dare to ask yourself a question, such as "Where is God's house?" or, "How big is God's house?" In Isaiah 66:1, the Creator stretches our minds with the answer:
"Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you will build Me? And where is the place of My rest?"
A throne and a footstool are just two small pieces of furniture in a house that is far bigger. So, the "Father's house" must be bigger than the heaven and the earth, bigger than the entire cosmos, higher than the highest heaven, larger than both natural and spiritual universes—infinitely large—just as incalculable in size as the Creator Himself.
The Greek Word for 'Mansions'
So, if the "Father's house" is that huge, what did the Jesus mean by "mansions"? To understand, we need to visit the original Greek. The word translated "mansions" is mone (pronounced mo-nay') only found twice in the New Testament, both in John 14 (verses 2 and 23). Here is the Amplified Bible, classic edition version of the second occurrence:
Jesus answered, "If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him."
So mone is translated home, abode and special dwelling place.
If we apply this to John 14:2, we have the Son of God saying, "In My Father's house are many special dwelling places, many abodes or spheres of existence." If you stretch that out to encompass both the physical and the spiritual universes, the possibilities are incomprehensible, eternal and full of wonder.
The King of creation sums it up powerfully in Revelation 21:7 (MEV) by giving the related promise:
"He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
God has bequeathed to all His sons, as a corporate inheritance, "all things"—both in earth and in heaven. The infinitude of the new heaven will be our special dwelling place, our sphere of existence, forever and ever.
In worshipful awe, we conclude that the answers to our questions are beyond language, for "eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor. 2:9). That is the "place" Jesus went to prepare for His followers.
It might be a house on a hillside—but by now, I think you agree, it is going to be something far greater.
Mike Shreve has traveled globally since 1971 as an evangelist with an emphasis on the deeper revelation of God's Word, confirmed by a manifestation of God's healing power and the prophetic. Presently, he and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Cleveland, Tennessee. He is an author of 14 books, including the best-selling Charisma House title, 65 Promises from God for Your Child. His newest book is a study of 52 names and titles God has given His offspring, titled WHO AM I?