The blood drained from Peter’s face so that even his olive skin shone pale in the lamplight.
Jesus motioned for the men to get comfortable around the table where they had shared their last meal together. The mood was somber as Peter sat transfixed staring at nothing, his mind a blank and his heart barely beating. Jesus knew He had to somehow bring good news to the men He had chosen to take His Good News to the world.
He had to put all these impending disasters into a positive context. He could see far beyond the ordeal facing Him, and the fear and confusion of His men. There was a better day coming—really, it was the point of all this. There was great joy to be had of the other side of all this sorrow. He must help them keep the faith in Him that was growing in their hearts.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”
This was the central issue: faith in Jesus. He was the link between the Old Covenant and the New, soon to be written in His blood. They had always believed in God. Now they must believe in Him, the Son of God, Messiah, long predicted, faithfully expected, and now among them. He must also be the Sin Bearer, Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. Jesus knew the disciples would witness things they could never bear. They would fail Him because there was not yet power available to them to stand this terrible storm. Soon the Holy Spirit would abide within their Calvary-cleansed spirits and they would indeed stand the storm. After their lives on this earth, their true lives would commence. He had to tell them.
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you.”
He had to make it clear that this was not a parable or a metaphor or an illustration. These were the facts! It was all leading somewhere, somewhere wonderful and forever.
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
As Jesus spoke the candles and lamps seemed to burn brighter as if fueled by the hope He was giving them. Questions remained. Thomas gave voice.
“Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
Jesus paused and looked at Thomas for a while before give Him a huge smile. Thomas and the others had to smile back at Jesus as He said these words.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
Just a flash of insight, a small foretaste of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to come, and they understood that Jesus was the way and they had found Him. He was the truth and they knew Him. He was the life and somehow He and they would live on. A large house with mansions for rooms—seemed entirely reasonable in that moment.
“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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Lord Jesus, thank You for the hope of glory. This life is the prelude to another, greater, more joyful one in heaven with You. Soon the great day will come and we will see You in the skies and be with Your there forever. We will be reunited with loved ones who have gone before us. We will be at peace in Your Presence forever in mansions You have prepared! Thank You, Lord for this Blessed Hope! Amen.
Mansion over the Hilltop
Words and Music: Ira Stamphill
1. I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
A little silver and a little gold
But in that city where the ransomed will shine
I want a gold one that’s silver lined
I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
And some day yonder we will never more wander
But walk on streets that are purest gold
2. Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely
I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound
I’m but a pilgrim in search of the city
I want a mansion, a harp and a crown
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved