“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.” (John 14:3)
No wonder these words are among the most beloved in scripture. They describe for us the blessing of heaven: it is being WITH HIM!
Jesus says here that after going to prepare a place for His disciples, He will receive us
— “TO HIMSELF.” Significantly, He does not say He is taking us “to heaven”, but TO HIMSELF. That is the ultimate purpose: that we might be with Him.
— And He adds: “That where I am, there you may be also.”
This is always the blessing of discipleship: it is being WITH JESUS.
— When He first called the apostles, Mark 3:14 says He did it “so that they would be witih Him.”
— and this passage in John 14 tells us that when He takes us to heaven, it is that we might be with Him “where I am.”
It is all about being “with Him”. Christianity is not just about “going to church” or “reading your Bible”, or “doing good works.” It is about being with Him in these things. If we are missing that, then we are missing what being a Christian is really about. It is all about being “with Him” wherever He is.
Not long ago a couple of our deacons were discussing the teaching of a prominent pastor, who had taught something unusual about the nature of heaven. One the men responded: “Will Jesus be there?” That was all that mattered to him. Now I do believe that we need to interpret scripture as rightly as we can, but my good friend is right. THE most important thing for the Christian disciple is always being with Jesus. THAT is where we want to be, now and forever. And by His grace, that is where we WILL be!