Is John 14:1-3 A “Second Coming of Jesus” Passage?
John 14:1-3: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many rooms; 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, thereyou may be also.”
First, Jesus is speaking to His disciples (His apostles, the Twelve). Immediate context: John 13-16.
Second, 22 verses following John 14:1-3, Jesus is speaking to the apostles about near-future events. He states in John 14:25-30: “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”
The word “back” is in italics, indicating it is not part of the original translation. It was added by the translators. The inspired text states: “I am going away and coming to you.” How would Jesus come back to the disciples (the apostles)? Answer: He would come representatively through the Holy Spirit.
Notice the word “come” in John 15:26,27: “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
The Father was sending “another” Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would be able to serve in the capacity that Jesus had originally assumed with His apostles. This is the sense in which Jesus would come again. It is interesting to note that the New Testament writers use “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9) to refer to the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit testified of Jesus through the inspired message of those who were sent on their mission. The Holy Spirit “came” to the apostles to bring to their remembrance all Jesus said and to glorify Jesus. He was Jesus' Representative (John 14:26; 16:13-14).
Jesus states further in John 16:7-13: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:of sin, because they do not believe in Me;of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
Third, simply study the context of John 14:1-3:
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms” - Jesus honored His heavenly Father on the earth and continues to glorify Him by carrying out the mission He was given to do. In John 1:14, it states that Jesus came and “dwelt” (literally “tabernacled”) among men. Jesus was/is God in the flesh. In Him was the fullness of deity. In John 2, Jesus had cleansed His Father's temple (house) by running out all thieves. John presents Jesus as the new emerging temple. Jesus states, “Destroy this temple in three days and I will raise it up” (John 2:19). John states that Jesus was speaking of the temple of His body being resurrected after three days in the grave. Jesus would be able to reconcile the big divide between humanity and God by bridging the chasm through His sacrifice for all of humanity. It is at the cross that Jesus was able to bring all those who would come to Him in belief and obedience in John 12:32,33: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”This He said, signifying by what death He would die.” It is at the cross that there is room for all people who want to enjoy God's terms of reconciliation by entering the new temple (the church of Christ – 1 Corinthians 3:16,17).
“if it were not so, I would have told you.”
“I go to prepare a place for you.” - Jesus did go to prepare a place. This is the equivalent of what Jesus stated in Matthew 16:18: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Jesus prepared Himself by offering up Himself as the sin sacrifice so that all could come into Him – the emerging new temple, the church of Christ.
“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.” - Jesus did come again by sending the Holy Spirit upon the apostles (Acts 2:1-4), thus placing them automatically into the new temple of God that was established on the Day of Pentecost. Since these apostles obeyed John's baptism (which was for the remission of sins, Mark 1:4), and since they were accepted by God as candidates, representing the Jews, for Jesus’ kingdom (by being baptized with the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-4), the apostles were the beginning of the New Testament kingdom to which all other souls obedient to the gospel were added (Those on the Day of Pentecost who gladly received the word, repented and were baptized were added “to them”, that is the apostles, Acts 2:38,41,47; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
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