Friday, January 7, 2011

John 14:1-3

I'm taking classes at Grace University to finish up my degree in Business Leadership, and I have one semester left.  The first class of the semester is on the four Gospels and the book of Acts.  The professor has been to Israel many times, and has great insight on passages of Scripture dealing with the Jewish tradition back in the time of Christ, and it puts a whole new perspective on some of the familiar passages of Scripture.  The one that is most memorable to me is the passage of John 14:1-3.  

To set up the passage, Jesus and the disciples were in the upper room for the last supper.  Judas had just left to go set up the betrayal of Christ, and the other eleven were still in the room.  Jesus had just mentioned that He was going away, and all the disciples were up in arms about it.  Now we come to chapter 14 in John, and Jesus mentions that He is going to prepare a place for them and that He will come back to take them with Him.  Those words in itself are comforting to any of us when we hear them, but they become more alive when we actually see what He is saying, according to Jewish tradition.  

According to Jewish custom, when a bride and groom wanted to get married the groom makes the dowry arrangements with the bride's father.  At that point the groom leaves and goes back to his house and builds a room at his parent's house for the married couple to live in after the ceremony.  Tradition was that the newly married couple lived in the house of the groom's parents.  The bride is left at her parents house to wait until the groom arrives for the wedding ceremony, meaning that the room is finally complete.  She has no clue when he will come back, so she must be ready at a moments notice.  On the other hand, the groom must get final approval of the room that he built from his father, who will then give him permission to go get his bride, since he has signed off on the fact that the room is fit for them to live in.  

Going back to John 14, Jesus is basically telling them that He is "marrying" them.  Of course they were probably so confused they wouldn't know what to think.  For us today, we can look back at this passage and see that Christ is making a room ready for His bride.  As long as it has taken Him so far to get it ready, and it still must not be ready because He hasn't come back yet, it must be some kind of place that He is making for us!!  The challenge for you and I today as the bride of Christ is this: what am I doing to make myself ready for the return of my Groom?  We have been pledged to Christ when we accepted Him.  How would it look for us to be "adulterating" ourselves with lesser things when Christ comes for us?  God let me not settle for cheap imitations of You.  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!!

Think about it,


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