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The many mansions “in my father’s house”

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By Pr Ben Odongo

All through in the scriptures, every time God spoke of a house, a building or a temple, He was not talking of a physical structure. He was talking of the human body.

Isaiah 66:1: “Heaven is my throne, and the Earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?”

In the verse above, God was asking for a house. But Solomon had earlier built one (2Chronicles 3:1-3), same as Ezra and Nehemiah.

While Solomon’s Temple was already standing, God was still asking for a house. This means the house God was asking for could not be a physical structure.

1 Corinthians 3:16: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 6:19, 2 Corinthians 5:1-2, John 2:19, all point out the Temple/house, which means a human body.

Explaining John 14:2-3
John 14:2-3: “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.”

Many people have explained this verse to mean that Jesus is up there in Heaven building some magnificent mansions for every believer.

But such thinking is to be carnal and it stems from spiritual dullness. First of all, there cannot be mansions in a house. Therefore, that should let anyone know that Jesus could not have been talking of a physical building or structure.

The word “house” in the verse was translated from the Greek word “tē oikia”, which means “the household” or “family”.
The word “mansion” was translated from the word “Monai”, and it means “dwelling place”. In simple terms, that verse would read: “In my father’s household, there are many dwelling places.”

Jesus was talking about His father’s household (family) and the dwelling places in them, which are the human bodies of believers.

Every believer is the dwelling place (mansion) of God. So, Jesus was talking of how He would live in the believer.
While the Jews were thinking of a physical building, Jesus was making reference to the human body as His house.
“I go to prepare a place for you.”

In the same verse, Jesus says He is going to prepare a place. How? Where does He go to prepare a place for us?
At the Cross – Through Christ’s death and resurrection, His body is transformed into a place with many “mansions”, many “rooms” in which we may dwell today.

This is not something to happen in the future; this is a present reality. We are God’s house and mansion (dwelling place), He is also our house and mansion (dwelling place). We are in Him and He is in us.

John 14:18, 20: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.”

Therefore, when Jesus talked of preparing a place for us, He was talking about how He will live in us and us in Him.

The writer is a student of Theology at Uganda Christian University.

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