What’s the best line in the whole Bible? What would you choose? Me? It’s something Jesus told the boys on the night He got arrested: He said,
“… if it were not so, I would have told you…” (John 14:2)
Jesus wasn’t blowing smoke. He wasn’t saying nice things just because they were comforting. He wasn’t going along with wishful thinking or superstition. The things He told were absolutely so; they were accurate descriptions of reality. “If it were not so, I would have told you.”
That’s important to me because, over the years, people have told me a lot of religious things that were not so. They were really true. And I don’t want to be fooled or gullible. You hang around funeral homes and you will hear a lot of things said that may not be so. Comforting? Yes. Nice ideas? Yes. But true? Maybe not. “Oh, Wilma has gone to a far better place.” Maybe that’s true; maybe not. People who say such things don’t necessarily believe them, but they know they help those who grieve.
Jesus knew His family and friends would not only be grieving but also they would be horrified and frightened. He knew platitudes might temporarily help, like a kiss on a cut, but what they really needed was a strong dose of truth. Truth they could lean on. Truth that would hold when they did.
Here’s the rest of what He said:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
Rooms? Many rooms? What’d He mean by that? There’s no good English word. Bibles used to use the word, mansions, which really gives the wrong idea. The Greek word refers to places in which one makes his or her home, to live there permanently. Dwelling places. He was saying God has many dwelling places where those who “trust Him” (verse 1, above) will continue to live, even after death. With Him.
And, if it were not so, He would have told us.
Lean on that.