3 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. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Verse 3 offers the time when the Lord will physically return to take His people home to heaven.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
Again, Jesus reiterated that He would prepare a special place for His own in heaven.
I will come again
After Jesus’ resurrection, ascension, and session to be with the Father, He will return to earth again to bring believers back to heaven with Him. This event is what we call the Rapture of the church (1 Th 4:16-18).
Jesus said that He would go away. Now He offered the counterpart—He will “come again.”
and receive [welcome] you to [face-to-face with] Myself;
At the Rapture, Jesus will come down to take His church to heaven with Him.
The words “to Myself” or “face-to-face with Myself” shows that when believers get to heaven, they will personally fellowship with the Lord. This is far more than going to heaven never to see Jesus again except at some far distance. The presence of Jesus is what makes the essence of heaven. It is what makes heaven heaven.
that where I am, there you may be also.
Believers will live with Christ in the eternal state. Where He is, believers will be also. Heaven is where Jesus is; it is a place of fellowship with Him.
And where I go you know,
The word “know” makes clear that heaven is a certainty. Jesus had previously shown that He was the Savior of the world.
and the way you know.”
The disciples generally knew the way to get to heaven. Evidently, they did not fully comprehend the idea, as we will see in the next verse.
Jesus’ return is as sure as His first appearing.
Jesus will return to personally escort us to heaven. This is His guarantee to us. His return is as certain as His departure. Jesus will never abandon His disciples. He will leave but He will come back again to establish a place for us in heaven where we will experience the glory of God personally. We will fellowship with Jesus in eternity.
The ominous events coming within hours of Jesus’ words here were not out of God’s control, or meaningless or random events. They were clearly in the plan of God to bring us to a place of eternal fellowship with Him.
There is no indication of an impending tribulation preceding the Rapture in our passage or in 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 or in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. After the Rapture of the church and seven years of tribulation on earth, Jesus will return in His Second Coming to reign for a thousand-year period; that is, during the Millennium.
The promise of Jesus pertains to the Rapture, not to establishing the Kingdom. It is not enough that He will bring believers to heaven; He wants to bring us into His presence. Christ’s presence was in heaven with the Father.