With sadness, Jesus announces his imminent death, Peter’s denial (John 13:38) and a betrayal by one of his own (John 13:21). Accordingly he says he will go and prepare a heaven filled with “mansions” so his spiritual family can be together (John 14:1-2).
But will there be literal mansions? Mansion means something completely different to people in various cultures. A shack would be a mansion to some while only Buckingham Palace would suffice for others.
- Why would we each need our own houses?
- Why would we need to be separated?
- Why would we need possessions in heaven?
- Would each person’s mansion be personalized?
- Would we be jealous of other people’s mansions?
- Why would we need bedrooms, bathrooms or kitchens?
How could we all be around the throne of God singing praises if we’re in our houses (Revelation 4-5)? Could we become hermits in heaven? Will there be bells to announce public meetings?
The word in the Greek text is “monai” which is translated “mansions” (NKJV, ASV, KJV), “many rooms” (ESV, McCord, NIV), “many abodes” (MLV), “dwelling places” (NEB, NRSV, NASB, Amplified).
The word was used in Greek literature to mean a station, a resting or staying place along a journey. Homer used it to refer to sleeping rooms in a larger palace where the children of the king would dwell.
We picture majestic mansions on a road, in a city or an open field. Yet, Jesus said, “in My Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). Can we imagine countless mansions within a house?
Jesus is likely taking them back to where the nation of Israel started in tents. God dwelt in the tabernacle which was moved from place to place. Yet, God went with them as they wandered in the wilderness waiting for the physical Promised Land.
Later, when Jesus was born, there was no room at the inn (Luke 2:70). In God’s home, no one will ever be turned away for a lack of room. Heaven, our spiritual Promised Land, will be larger than we can ever imagine (Revelation 21:9-21).
We won’t need to lock ourselves up in our mansion to sleep, quarrel, love, be entertained, bathe or rest. What’s more, we won’t need lights because God will be our power source (Revelation 22:5).
We will no longer need resting places or stations because we will be home for all eternity (Matthew 25:46). Let’s fill our minds with that promise rather than designing a fleshly mansion to gratify our own lustful desires.