The Father's House

John 14

J. N. Darby.

<34023E> 363

In this part of the gospel of John the Lord is leading His disciples away from earth to associate their minds with Himself up in heaven. That begins from chapter 13. In chapters 8 and 9 we have His rejection. Then, chapter 10, He states He will have His sheep in spite of everything. Chapter 11, that which He was on earth as Son of God borne witness to. Chapter 12, the Son of David riding on an ass, and Son of man when the Greeks come to Him; but He says, "I must die." He cannot have to say to the disciples on the earth, though loving them to the end. Then He washes their feet, and says, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me." The possibility of His having a part with man down here was over - the world had rejected Him; and now instead of blessing the disciples here, He was taking their hearts up there. The thread that runs through the rest of the gospel, up to the last chapter, is - not here, but there, and you must take up your cross here.

In chapter 14 the Lord gives us our portion on the ground of taking us up there. They would not have Him with them; but He says, "Let not your heart be troubled" at My going away. You do not get the comfort of God by seeing Him in bodily presence, and so with Me. "Ye believe in God, believe also in me." He is going to prepare a place, that is the whole thing. 'I am going to My Father. I have brought you redeemed ones into the same relationship as I am in; He is your Father as much as Mine, and your God as much as Mine. I am not to be alone there. In My Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you.' The place He was going to prepare (and that He was putting before their hearts) had this specific character, that the children were at home there. He had brought them into this place of children before God and the Father; and therefore, when the time was come, they should go to the Father's house. The thought and purpose of God was to have us with Christ and like Him, His own blessed Son, in His house. "I will come again, and receive you unto myself" - in the Father's house - "that where I am, there you may be also." Where the Son is, in the joy and blessedness and rest and glory of the Father's house, there we are to be with Himself. That is His purpose - what He is bringing us to. Then He adds this blessed truth, that He is coming back Himself to fetch them. He is interested in them, and it is a fixed abiding interest. He would not be satisfied to send, but would come Himself. What wonderful blessing! It would be an honour to be sent for as redeemed ones who are everything to Him. I may send to meet a person I make something of; but if I make a great deal of him, I go myself.

364 He goes on to tell us how we know it all now, so that our souls live in it while He is away. The blessed Lord's death - redemption - giving us a title to be in no less a place than the Father's house, like and with Himself. But while His death accomplished that for us, it was a total breach with the world. "The world seeth me no more." He is going to the Father's house, and the world and the Father are in direct opposition. "The friendship of the world is enmity with God." They saw no beauty in Him that they should desire Him. And when He was rejected by the world, He went up to sit at the Father's right hand. The accepted One of the Father was the rejected One of the world. Man may have hopes that he is going to do a great deal with man. God has done all as to responsibility. And at last He says, 'I have one Son, they will reverence him.' But they said, "Come, let us kill him." The Lord says, "Now is the judgment of this world." The obedient, accepted One of the Father sits on His right hand, on His total rejection by the world, and He takes His redeemed ones with Him there. We get the place of sons; we are to have the glory; to be conformed to the image of His Son, the First-born among many brethren. While His work on the cross put away our sins, it gives us a place with Him and like Him in the glory.

After the statement of this in the first three verses we get how to realise it now in our souls. There are two parts - First, the object that is before us; and second, the power that is in us. First He tells us the place He is going to take us to - it is the Father's house. And what makes the Father's house of importance to the child - if he has right affections? It is, that the Father is there. The blessedness of being there is that the Father is there. Christ is there too. However feebly we may enjoy it now, when we talk of 'going to heaven,' it is going to the Father. The Lord says, "No man cometh to the Father, but by me." He was going to the Father, and bringing us in spirit there now, hereafter actually in glory. Therefore they say, "Shew us the Father." No one has seen God at any time; but there is that blessed relationship of the Father to the Son, and to us as putting us in His place. He brings us to the Father. So He says, "Where I go ye know, and the way ye know." Thomas thought of a place. "We know not whither thou goest, and how can we know the way?" The Lord says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." And then we get the point - "No man cometh to the Father, but by me." If I know the Father, I know where He has gone and where I am going. When Philip says, "Shew us the Father," He answers, 'You have the Father this long time with you revealed in the Son. He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.' There we have this blessed truth, that when the Lord tells us He is going to bring us to the Father's house, we know what the blessedness of that house is, we know the centre of it. We know the Father because He is perfectly revealed in the Son. In coming to Christ I have found the way. I may see "through a glass darkly"; but as to the object, I have got the Father Himself revealed in Christ, so that in believing on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ I know the blessedness I am called to - the place of Christ as Son, He who is the source and centre of eternal blessedness, loving-kindness, and favour. It is not the mere abstract theory of God and of a holy place that it is; but I stand in a perfect relationship, and the Spirit of adoption crying Abba in my heart, there is a consciousness of the love that has put me in this place of favour. If I say, How can I know I have seen the Father, a poor worm such as I? Have you seen Christ (not with the outward eye, but seen Him by faith)? "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."

365 The spring of all our blessedness is in Christ, actually when He comes, and the soul lives in it now as far as he is in heavenly-mindedness, and in spirit enjoys it all, looking forward in the brightness and blessedness of hope to being there. I must for this understand the work as well as the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my title. I know in His death my sins are perfectly put away, and what He has done is so perfect in glorifying God, that He has taken His place at the right hand of God as man, and that gives me a place. He can say, "Glorify thy Son." There we get the relationship, and then, "I have finished the work that thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me," etc. That is the title by the work, and He has done the work for me. He has gone to the Father, and in Him is the way to go. He makes us feel that blessing is for us as a present thing. I quite admit we see through a glass darkly; but the things I shall get in heaven are not things I have not had revealed on earth. I have not seen the glory, but if I speak of the Father's love as my portion there, it is that which has given me Christ now. If of my title, it is no new thing, but the work and blood-shedding of Christ; if of eternal life, I have it now in His Son (shall have it fully then). Whether the thing enjoyed or the title to enjoy, we have it now, though we do not apprehend it fully. What a thought to be able to say, according to Christ's own thoughts of the blessedness of heaven, I have it now. He was revealing the Father's name. "I have declared thy name unto them, and will declare it." What He tells them is: 'Now you have seen the Father, the very one my delight is in, and my joy (eternally infinite, of course), the One that I walk on earth with, that I am one with. I have brought you into this relationship with Him, and revealed Him to you.' How far can we say, I have got on earth what I am to have in heaven - the revelation of the Father in the Son? What settled quietness of spirit it gives, to have found yourself with the Father, through the knowledge of the Son, in confidence of heart! Have your hearts got that? Are they really occupied with the Father? (worshipping, of course; but the clearer the knowledge of the relationship is, the more worship there will be). He is the way. Can you say, I have been that way, and He has brought me to the Father? That is, in this world; it will be no new thing up there. "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Can our hearts say, I have found the Father in Christ? That is what the Lord was insisting on; and there was far more ignorance then than now, for the Holy Ghost had not come.