The Father’s House
Most touching and comforting to the heart of the believer are
the communications of the Lord Jesus which are recorded in these four connected
chapters of this wondrous gospel (13 – 17). And there is no fruit of grace more
precious, nor any that more endears God to the soul than that which sets the
heart in peace to receive the overflowings of Christ's love in this form of
personal address. It can never be too strongly borne in mind that the grace
which finds us alike sinners and at a distance from God, when received, sets
the heart in the place of nearness to Himself, and in the place of the precious
privilege of listening to all that Christ has to tell us about His own and His
Father's love. Especially, is it not enough to heed these precious communications
as truths presented in the form of general address; they should be listened
to as the very voice of Christ addressing the soul. It is to me--to you--that
the Son of God, whose blood has washed away our sins, is speaking when He says,
"Let not your heart be troubled." He is not now speaking to "uncircumcised hearts
and ears," or abroad amongst the unheeding multitudes; but to His own disciples--alone
and apart in that room, where in infinite grace He has just laid aside the towel
and taken His garments again after washing their feet.
Many things might well fill their hearts with sorrow--the treachery
of one, the denial of another, and the cowardice of all; but especially the
thought of the loss of His companionship, which had been, without their almost
knowing it, everything to them and in the place of everything besides. Still
He says, " Let not your heart be troubled." How tender is this grace! But why
not troubled? Because faith should ere long do more than sight, even
in regard to Himself, as well as with regard to their eternal
portion on high. He says, "You believe on God"-unseen, unknown, except
by faith--still God--God known, trusted, loved, owned, waited for, prayed
to, the spring of comfort, and the eternal stay of the righteous --"Believe
also on Me." This is the precious secret. Faith in the Lord Jesus
tells the heart not of what He once was, but of what He now is.
Instructed indeed by the past of His precious history of love, and grace,
and condescension, and gentle goodness, faith in Him gathers all up into
a present now, and gives all a personal present reality to the soul.
Yes, gracious Lord, to believe in Thee, is that which brings Thee,
with all Thine untold love and grace, to dwell with personal, present comfort
in my soul!
Let us not think that Christ is here laying the basis of their
salvation, which once secured, the heart has no more to seek. He is not doing
this, but He is opening the springs of eternal comfort in a world that
would soon present an utter blank to their sorrowing souls. He says, "Believe
also on Me." You have known Me here by the seeing of the eyes and the hearing
of the ears, and you have left all for me. Now you must "believe on Me," and
faith will follow Me up where I was before; there not another, but the same,
and with the same undying, unchanging interest in you.
"In My Father's house are many abodes; were it not so, I would
have told you." It is the Father's house, the home of the
family, where "the First-born amongst many brethren" is gone before; and He
says, "I go to prepare a place for you." How surely, if Christ be known,
really known, heaven becomes the object of desire. But then, it is no longer
heaven in its vagueness, nor God in the distance of His creative power or in
His uncreated glory; but it is the Father's house in all its positive
attractiveness, and the Father in all the grace and love presented in that endearing
"If I go and shall prepare you a place, I am coming again, and
shall receive you to Myself; that where I am, ye also may be." Never were there
words more simple; but what floods of revelation do they pour into the soul.
How is the heart of the Lord Jesus still linked with His saints. Himself it
is that is preparing a place for us; it is in His Father's house we are
to dwell; it is He Himself that is coming again. He says He will receive us
to Himself, and where He is there we shall be also.
Lord Jesus, it is enough! We want no more. We wait Thy
coming. Thy heart it is that is careful for our happiness and has made
provision for our home. Thy love designs, Thy power accomplishes, and Thy faithfulness
secures it all.