Friday, June 11, 2010

What Do You Seek? Where Do You Dwell? (3)

Part 1 | Part 2
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” (John 1:38).
The Greek word for “stay” in this verse is meno and means to abide, to continue, to dwell.

“Where do you dwell?” the disciples asked.

“Come and see,” Jesus answered.

They came and saw and became His disciples. They dwelt with Him for over three years, the length of His ministry. On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus told His disciples, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And 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 14:2-3). The word for “mansions” here is mone, which is derived from meno. It is the place of abiding, a dwelling place.

Many people believe Jesus was talking about the Second Coming, that is, when He returns at the end. They imagine He is spending all of this time between now and then preparing a big house for us. But I don’t think that is what He is talking about here. I believe the place He went to prepare for us has already been prepared for us long ago.
  • It happened at the Cross, where Jesus prepared the way for us.
  • It happened at the Resurrection, when Jesus came again to the disciples.
  • It happened at the Ascension, when Jesus ascended to the throne in His Father’s house.
There is a place for us with Jesus on that throne at the right hand of the Father, far above all principality, power, might and dominion. Paul tells us,
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
God has made us alive with Jesus, raised us up with Jesus and seated us in the heavenlies, where Jesus is seated — the place of ruling and reigning. Notice carefully the tense. It is not future, a promise of what will be. It is past tense, more precisely, the Greek aorist tense, which signifies completed action. In other words, it is a “done deal.” Jesus has prepared a place for us in His Father’s house and He has received us there, on His throne at the right hand of the Father (see Ascension: Receiving Us Unto Himself). It is our dwelling place, our mone with Him.

There is only one other place where this noun, mone, is found in the New Testament, and that is just a few verses later, in John 14:23, where Jesus says:
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home [mone] with him.
Not only has Jesus prepared a dwelling place for us with Him, He has also prepared us as a dwelling place for the Father and Himself. If we love Him and keep His word — that is, believe what He says — He and the Father come and make their home with us (see The Abodes of God).

“Where do you dwell?” the disciples.

“Come and see,” Jesus answered.

He comes to dwell with us and invites us to dwell with Him.