In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions: What Does John 14:2 Mean?

John 14:2 reads, “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.” King James Version (KJV)

TranslationJohn 14:2
ESVIn my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
NASBIn My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.
NIVMy Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
NLTThere is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

Also see Be Anxious For Nothing to learn more.

In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

14:1-11 Here are three words, upon any of which stress may be laid. Upon the word troubled. Be not cast down and disquieted. The word heart. Let your heart be kept with full trust in God. The word your. However others are overwhelmed with the sorrows of this present time, be not you so.

Christ’s disciples, more than others, should keep their minds quiet, when everything else is unquiet. Here is the remedy against this trouble of mind, Believe. By believing in Christ as the Mediator between God and man, we gain comfort.

The happiness of heaven is spoken of as in a father’s house. There are many mansions, for there are many sons to be brought to glory. Mansions are lasting dwellings. Christ will be the Finisher of that of which he is the Author or Beginner; if he have prepared the place for us, he will prepare us for it.

Christ is the sinner’s Way to the Father and to heaven, in his person as God manifest in the flesh, in his atoning sacrifice, and as our Advocate. He is the Truth, as fulfilling all the prophecies of a Saviour; believing which, sinners come by him the Way. He is the Life, by whose life-giving Spirit the dead in sin are quickened.

Nor can any man draw nigh God as a Father, who is not quickened by Him as the Life, and taught by Him as the Truth, to come by Him as the Way. By Christ, as the Way, our prayers go to God, and his blessings come to us; this is the Way that leads to rest, the good old Way.

He is the Resurrection and the Life. All that saw Christ by faith, saw the Father in Him. In the light of Christ’s doctrine, they saw God as the Father of lights; and in Christ’s miracles, they saw God as the God of power. The holiness of God shone in the spotless purity of Christ’s life.

We are to believe the revelation of God to man in Christ; for the works of the Redeemer show forth his own glory, and God in him.

Also see Taste and See That the Lord is Good to learn more.

John 14:2 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Verse 2. – In my Father’s house are many mansions; or, abiding-places, homes of rest and peace and sojourn. “My Father” is the grandest name of all – the Divine fatherhood, as conceived in the consciousness of Jesus and revealed to them.

Had not he who dwelt for ever in the bosom of the Father come forth, as he alone could, to reveal “the Father” and what the Father had been to him in the eternities? “My Father’s house” is the dwelling-place in which devout believing souls would abide forever (Psalm 23:6; Psalm 90:1).

In the vast home filled by my Father’s glory and lighted by his smile of recognition and reconciliation, in the high and holy place (Isaiah 63:15; Deuteronomy 26:15), are “many mansions” prepared from the foundation of the world (Matthew 25:34). Heaven is a large place; its possibilities transcend your imagination and exceed your charity.

Thoma quotes all the grand hopes which Paul’s Epistles and that to the Hebrews contain, that Jesus made heaven and home by his presence there (Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:14, 17), and he supposes that the Johannist put these words into the lips of Jesus.

One conclusion forced upon the reader, so far as this passage is concerned, is that there is no reason why this Gospel may not have been written long before the close of the first century. If it were not so; i.e. if there were any doubt about it, if the revelations already made do not avail to prove as much as this, if you have been cherishing nothing better than vain illusions on this subject, I would have told you, for I came forth from God, and know these many mansions well.

I would have told you, for all things that I have heard from the Father (up to this time possible for you to receive) I have made known to you. Here surely is a colon, if not a period. Many interpreters, by reason of the ὅτι which Lachmann, Tischendorf, Westcott, and Meyer believe to be the correct reading, link the following sentence in different ways to the preceding; e.g., some say ὅτι is equivalent to “that,” and read, “I would have told you that I go, etc.; but against this is the simple statement of Ver. 3, where Jesus proceeds to say that he is going to prepare, etc.

Others, translating ὅτι “for,” differ as to whether the departure of Jesus and his preparation of a place for his disciples refers to the first or second part of the sentence. Surely the ὅτι, “because” or “for,” opens out a new thought based on the whole of that sentence: “Because, seeing if it were not so, I would have told you,” because our relations are so close as to have involved on your part this claim on my frankness, for I am going to prepare a place – to make ready one of these many mansions – for you.

Over and above the vague mystery of the Father’s house, my departure is that of your “Forerunner,” and my presence will make a new resting-place – it will localize your home. As you have made ready this guest-chamber for me, I am going to make ready a presence-chamber for you in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Lange objects to this view of Lucke, Calvin, and Tholuck, that it involves a diffusion of knowledge and revelation among the disciples, of which there is no proof. This does not seem bettered by another rendering preferred by him, viz. “If it were not so, would I have told you I go to prepare a place for you?”

But then this mode of interpretation implies a previous definite instruction as to the part he himself was going to take in the furnishing of the heavenly mansion. Of that most certainly there is no proof.

Also see Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled to learn more.

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

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