John 14:2  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.

People have pictured Jesus working tirelessly, putting brick upon brick to make sure we have luxurious apartments in heaven. That’s their interpretation of today’s text. The seemingly disappointing fact however, is that the epistles reveal what Jesus has been doing since he got to heaven. He is seated! He is not working! So it is either he lied or our interpretation of the text has been wrong all along.

Giving the grammatical construction  a careful look though, is it possible to have mansions in a house? This makes no sense logically. As a rule in hermeneutics (the science or biblical interpretation) you know that a statement in the Bible is figurative when the literal meaning makes no sense. So like several other instances in the Bible where Jesus used figures of speech to communicate, the words house and mansions in John 14:2 are figurative.

Newer translations got this right. For instance, the New Living Translation says:
“There is more than ENOUGH ROOM in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?” Reading this carefully enough will immediately take your mind off an actual mansion. This was referring to ‘relationship’ and the reconciliatory ministry of Christ. Christ came to prepare room for us in the Father’s house. Paul puts it this way: “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…” 2 Corinthians 5:19. There is room for us. Glory to God! We are children of God.