It’s amazing how much interest people have in big houses, or perhaps mansions. Of course one person’s mansion is another person’s guest house. A whole lot depends upon our perspective.
This week my wife and I traveled the Pacific Coast Highway to the Hearst Castle to celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary. We took the tour and oohed and ahh’ed at things like others there also. It was neat, it was big, and it was filled with things that cost lots of money. William Hearst spent 28 years of his life on this ongoing building project and they told us that he was never happier than when he was undertaking another aspect of it, building or improving. When we left I looked around and thought, ‘what a waste’. Not only a waste of more money that I can even imagine, but what a waste of a life. Did William Hearst accomplish a lot of things in his life, yes, but they told us this was just one of 7 lavish mansions he had around the county.
I know that I have no right to criticize another man’s dream, we each have dreams of some kind, but his dream was far from what mine is. I dream of a mansion of another kind. In John 14:2 Jesus said, “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.” (KJV) Another translation puts this more correctly I believe when it says, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” (NIV)
The Idea from the Greek language is that there are many resting places in God’s House (heaven). Is it large and richly appointed, I believe it is, though there is no way to know the exact details. The idea the Jesus is trying to share is that our life in Heaven in everyway, out weighs the problems and difficulties here on this earth.
We sing hymns such as, “There’s a mansion, just over the hilltop,” or “Lord build me a cabin in the corner of Glory Land.” The difference in those songs alone, tell us that we really don’t understand the message of God. As A.T. Robinson wrote, “There are many resting-places in the Father’s house. Christ’s picture of heaven here is the most precious one that we possess. It is our heavenly home with the Father and with Jesus.”
Was Hearst’s Castle impressive? Yes! Did it impress me to the point that I would want it or want to live there? No way! I’ve got something better waiting for me, how about you?