In my Father's house are many mansions
This he says to draw off their minds from an earthly kingdom to an heavenly one; to point out the place to them whither he was going, and to support them with the views and hopes of glory under all their troubles. By his "Father's house" is meant heaven; see ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ) ; which is of his Father's building, where he has, and will have all his family. This Christ says partly to reconcile the minds of his disciples to his departure from them, and partly to strengthen their hope of following him thither; since it was his Father's, and their Father's house whither he was going, and in which "are many mansions"; abiding or dwelling places; mansions of love, peace, joy, and rest, which always remain: and there are "many" of them, which does not design different degrees of glory; for since the saints are all loved with the same love, bought with the same price, justified with the same righteousness, and are equally the sons of God, their glory will be the same. But, it denotes fulness and sufficiency of room for all his people; for the many ordained to eternal life, for whom Christ gave his life a ransom, and whose blood is shed for the remission of their sins, whose sins he bore, and whom he justifies by his knowledge; who receive him by faith, and are the many sons he will bring to glory. And this is said for the comfort of the disciples who might be assured from hence, that there would be room not only for himself and Peter, whom he had promised should follow him hereafter, but for them all. Very agreeable to this way of speaking are many things in the Jewish writings:
``says R. Isaack F15, how many (Nyrwdm le Nyrwdm) , "mansions upon mansions", are there for the righteous in that world? and the uppermost mansion of them all is the love of their Lord.''Moreover, they say F16, that
``in the world to come every righteous man shall have (rwdm) , "a mansion", to himself.''Sometimes they F17 speak of "seven mansions" (a number of perfection) being prepared for the righteous in the other world, though entirely ignorant of the person by whom these mansions are prepared: who here says,
if it were not so, I, would have told you, I go to prepare a place
This expresses the certainty of it, that his Father had a house, and in it were many mansions, room enough for all his people, or he would have informed them otherwise, who must needs know the truth of these things, since he came from thence; and who never deceives with vain hopes of glory; and whatever he says is truth, and to be depended on; everything he here delivers; both what he said before, and also what follows: "I go to prepare a place for you"; heaven is a kingdom prepared by the Father for his saints, from the foundation of the world; and again, by the presence and intercession of Christ, who is gone before, and is as a forerunner entered into it, and has took possession of it in the name of his people; and by his own appearance there for them with his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, he is, as it were, fitting up these mansions for their reception, whilst they are by his Spirit and grace fitting and preparing for the enjoyment of them.
F15 Zohar in Deut. fol. 113. 1.
F16 Praefat ad Sepher Raziel, fol. 2. 1. Nishmat Chayim, fol. 26. 2. & 27. 1.
F17 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 75. 1. Nishmat Chayim, fol. 32. 2. Midrash Tillim in Galatin. l. 12. c. 6.