The Father’s House
Girdle of Truth (available from Present Truth Publishers)

John 14

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 Name.

"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.