Look Up and Be Ready

Posted in: Heaven, 0694
By Dr. Larry Ollison

“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” (John 14:2).

Here Jesus gives a clue about what heaven is like and what goes on there. He also gives us insight to the heart of His Father and His own personal desire for us. This passage is a mystery revealed about His disciples and His church.

The Bible instructs us to rightly divide the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15). In order to do this, we must know who is speaking, who is being spoken to, and the circumstances surrounding the statements. With that in mind let's set the background for Jesus' comments.

It was during the feast of the Passover and Jesus knew the time was growing near that He would depart and be with His father. He loved His disciples, although He knew that one of them (Judas Iscariot) would betray Him (John 13:11).

After supper, He laid aside His garments and washed their feet. He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you" (John 13:12-15). He clearly told His disciples that in the same way He loved them, they should love each other. Jesus took every opportunity to explain that the new commandment of the new covenant was love.

He continued by saying, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (John 13:20).

Then He made a shocking statement that momentarily stunned the disciples. After expressing His love for all of them and after washing their feet, He said that one among them would betray Him. Of course, the disciples looked at each other and were quite perplexed.

Peter motioned to John, who was reclined next to Jesus, to find out who the betrayer was. Leaning back on Jesus, John said, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus replied by saying, “‘It is the one I will give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.’ And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” The Bible says that when Judas took the piece of bread, that Satan himself entered into him and Jesus said to Judas, "What you do, do quickly" (John 13:24-27).

The eleven disciples remaining were probably a little confused as to what had happened. Not everyone heard the conversation between Jesus and John. But now the betrayer and Satan were gone and Jesus began to reveal New Covenant principles. He began by letting them know it was time for Him to be glorified and that where He was going, they could not go. He emphasized the commandment of love once again and told them that the way others would know they were His disciples was by the love that they would have for each other (John 13:31-35).

Jesus inserted a picture of where He was going: He was going to His Father’s house and He not only revealed where He was going, but He told them He would also be preparing a place for them in His Father’s house (John 14:1-4). Jesus promised He would not leave them as orphans to struggle on earth, but would send a Helper (the Holy Spirit) to be with them until He would return for them (John 14:16-18). At the right time He would take them to His Father’s house and they would forever be with them (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18).

And so today, two-thousand years later we are waiting for His return. The day is fast approaching and will soon be here when we the church are caught away to our heavenly home. The Bible says that before Jesus returns, there will be those who doubt that will say, “For years I have heard Jesus is returning and nothing has happened” (2 Peter 3:4). But don’t be among those who doubt. Every day when you wake up, look up and be ready because the next voice you hear could be the voice of the Lord calling us home!

Devotion 0694