Jesus told his disciples, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”
Wha was he getting at there? Was he saying there was room enough in heave for all of us? Yes, he was; but there was more to it. Jesus was eching something said twelve hundred years earlier. Let me explaiin.
John wrote his Gospel to show us how Jesus leads us to our promised land just as the Father led the Israelites to their Promised Land.
That old exodus story began with Moses constructing a special tent where the people on their forty-year-journey could come and confer with God. That story, in Chapter Forty of Exodus concluded with God’s glory filling the tent. In verse 14 of Chapter One of his Gospel, John wrote that when the Word became flesh, “He set up his tent and we saw his glory.”
John’s Gospel echoes all the noted events in the Israelite’s forty years in the desert. They had manna from heaven, Jesus said, “I am the true bread come down from heaven.” God gave them miraculous water, and Jesus said, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me.” God gave them a fiery cloud to lead them by night; and Jesus said, “I am the light of the world, anyone who follows me will nt walk in darkness.”
When the Israelites arrived opposite the Promised Land on the east bank of the Jordan, Moses sent surveyors in to fix the borders for twelve divisions of land, one for each of the tribes. Jesus was echoing that when the said there, “In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.”
Chapter Three of the “Book of Josua” has the marvelous story of how the Israelites passed through the flooded Jordan to claim their Promised Land.
There were thousands of Israelites who had survived the forty yars in the desert. Joshua had them line up in a column facing the swollen Jordan. Then, at the front of their line, he stationed four priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant.
Next, Joshua ordersd the priests carrying the Ark to wade into the Jordan. As they went, the waters backed up, opening a way for them and the people following. When the priests carrying the Ark reachd the bottom of the river bed, with the Ark between them they stationd themselves there, letting the people pass by, and up ino the Promised Land.
Jesus, in calling himself the Way, the Truth, and the Life was comparing himself to toe Ark. For us, he will open a way through the river od death.