Study 11 HE’S COMING BACK TO TAKE US HOME!
TWELVE OF MY FAVOURITE BIBLICAL THEMES
by Francis Dixon
Study verses: John 14:1-3
In this much loved passage of scripture we have our Lord’s own promise of heaven and of His second coming which He gave to His own agitated, troubled and fearful followers, who were with Him just prior to His arrest, trial and crucifixion. We are told here something about the Person of Christ, the Promise of Christ and the Purpose of Christ.
1. The Person of Christ
Notice who it is who says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled”. Who is the “me” in verse 1; who is it who speaks of “my Father” in verse 2; who is the “I” in verse 3? It is the Lord Jesus Christ. But who is He? – because the value of any promise depends upon the person who makes it. Who is it who makes the promise here? In the early verses notice four statements about the Lord Jesus.
- 1. He is the Son of God (verse 1) – “Trust in God; trust also in me”. Here our Lord claimed equality with God. Notice also in verse 2 the words “my Father…” He was the Son of God, and God was His Father in a unique relationship. He is referred to as the One and Only Son, a special title which is only given to Him, and which indicates that He is one with the Father and with the Holy Spirit in the unity of the Godhead (John 1:14,18; 3:16,18; 1 John 4:9).
- 2. He is the only way to the Father (verse 6) – “No one comes to the Father except through me”. He is the only way by which a sinner can come into the presence of a holy God, and it is emphasised all through scripture, summed up in such statements as Isaiah 45:22; John 10:9; Acts 4:12. There are many ways to Christ but only one way to God, and Jesus is the way.
- 3. He is the One who perfectly reveals the Father (verses 7-9) – especially at the end of verse 9. We need to link John 1:18 with these other references. What is God the Father like? We only have to look at Jesus Christ to get the answer to that question – look up Hebrews 1:1-3.
- 4. He is the One who claims our faith and trust (verse 1) – “trust also in me”; and in verses 10 and 11. There is only one person in the whole universe who is really qualified and worthy to stand before men and say, ‘Believe in me…trust in me!’ That one is Jesus Christ.
2. The Promise of Christ
This promise is stated in four words – “I will come back”, and there are three things to notice:-
- 1. The certainty of this promise. It is clear and unambiguous! As David Livingstone said, concerning another promise, ‘These are the words of a gentleman of the most strict and sacred honour’. Now look at verse 10 and see with what authority these words of our Saviour are spoken.
- 2. The connection this promise has with His ascension. In verse 3 we read that Jesus said, “If I go…I will come back”. He was referring to His going back to heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Our Lord did go, and when He went the promise of His return was confirmed by the words of the angels – just as the angels confirmed the fact of His birth (Matthew 1:20-25); and of His resurrection (Matthew 28:1-7).
- 3. The significance of this promise. He was not referring to His resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the fall of Jerusalem or to the death of the believer; He was referring to His personal, bodily, literal return. He said, “I will come back”, and in Acts 1:11 the angel said, “This same Jesus…” would come again; in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 we read about “the Lord himself”.
3. The Purpose of Christ
Why is He coming and what will He do when He comes? His return has special reference to His Church, to the Jews, to the world and to Satan. But here in John 14:1-3 He is speaking to and of His own followers, including those of us who today belong to Him. What is the purpose of His return for His own people? Here are three R’s which sum up the purpose of His coming:
- 1. Reception (verse 3): “I will come back and take you to be with me”. He is coming to receive to Himself all His own people – not just a few of them; and He is coming not to effect a partial rapture, but to gather to Himself all those who are His – look up 1 Corinthians 15:23.
- 2. Rehabilitation (verses 2 and 3a): we are told that the Lord has gone to prepare a place for us which consists of many rooms. Notice the significance of His word in verse 2 – “If it were not so, I would have told you”. He is coming to place us in our heavenly home where we shall be freed from sin and earth’s restrictions, to enjoy His presence for ever.
- 3. Reunion (verse 3): “that you also may be where I am”. So when He comes there will be reunion with the Lord Himself (John 17:24). The disciples were troubled because of impending separation, so Jesus gave them this promise. But there is an application of this word of Christ to us. We are going to be united with Him and with all who belong to the Lord. We shall see and recognise each other and be together in His presence (1 John 3:2; compare Psalm 16:11).
Are you ready to meet Him when He comes? When He fulfils His word “I will come back”, will He receive you to Himself because you belong to Him, or will He have to reject you? (Matthew 25:10-13). If you have never done so, will you accept Him now? – look up Revelation 3:20.