Passage: John 14:3

Twice in this conversation with His disciples about Heaven, Jesus has said He will go and “prepare (or make ready), a place for” them.

Jesus wanted them to know the main reason He was leaving was to ensure everything would be ready for the day when He would welcome them into Heaven.

Jesus’ language reflects the customs surrounding Jewish weddings in His day.

Between the betrothal of a couple and their wedding day – known as the “preparation period’ and usually lasting about a year – the prospective groom lived in his father’s home, preparing a place for he and his wife to live. (This generally involved adding an extra room to his father’s house.)

As the end of the betrothal period drew closer, the bride had to ensure she was ready because her groom could come for her at any moment. If the groom was asked, “What is the date of your wedding?” he would answer, “No man knows except my father.” But once the father gave his approval for the wedding to begin, the groom walked through the streets behind his wedding party who led the way and shouted, “Behold, the bridegroom comes!” After arriving at his bride’s home, he would then take her away to his father’s house for the wedding ceremony and celebration!

He went away to prepare a place for his bride.

He came for his bride when the father said it was time.

He took her back to the place he had prepared, and they were together, forever.

Jesus has gone away to prepare a place for us in Heaven.

He will come for His bride, the Church when His Father says, “It is time!”

He will take us to the place He has made ready for us, and we will be with Him forever.

Until then, we live in a state of readiness and expectation because we “do not know the day nor the hour” when our Bridegroom may come.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

What do you think it means to “be ready” for the return of Jesus?