John 14: 3
I am sure we are affected by what our brother has said as to the prospect that is before us. How soon it may be! It has been suggested, although I must say it is not so in my case, that we should waken every day thinking, ’Is it going to be today?’. The imminence of it, beloved, has been the hope of the saints through the centuries, and we are nearer to that blessed time than ever we have been.
But what has struck me, and has often impressed me in this scripture that our beloved brother has referred to is what the Lord Jesus says, “I am coming again and shall receive you to myself”. Brethren know that I have often said that two words in a section of scripture can make all the difference. It would have been very blessed if He had said, ‘I am coming again and shall receive you that where I am ye also may be’, but He adds “shall receive you to myself”. Although John does not give us the light of the assembly and the body of Christ as Paul does, I would suggest that receiving us to Himself is more than just simply a matter of place. He does speak of place. He says, “I go to prepare you a place”, but we have often been reminded that the preparation of the place is by His being there, and how wonderful that as He is there, He would receive us to Himself.
I just suggest that it has an allusion to the place the assembly will have, although the truth of that is not developed in John’s gospel. Yet it must ever have been on the Lord’s heart for He was about to deliver Himself up for the assembly so that in due course He might “present the assembly to himself glorious, having no spot, or wrinkle, or any of such things”, Eph 5: 27. Surely when He presents it to Himself, He will receive it to Himself. How wonderful this is, the blessed, holy intimacy of the place that is ours as with Him! It is not only - I say ‘not only’ carefully as related to Him - there in relationship to Him, as His kindred as He speaks of His own in this gospel, His brethren, but being brought to Himself. It seems to me that it involves something very close and intimate, “receive you to myself”.
How wonderful what is before us is, but we should think not only of what is before us, but think of what it will be for Him, and as we think of what it will be for Him, it will affect us in our path and service and testimony here so that in what is here at the present time in the light of the assembly, and in the light of the body of Christ, there should be even now something for His own heart, as there will be in its fulness in that day when He presents it to Himself glorious.
I suggest these things, beloved, as coming freshly to mind. What a difference these two words “to myself” make: the intimacy, the wonder of it, something which is really beyond the natural mind to comprehend, as it speaks of “the two shall be one”, Eph 5: 31. Wonderful things, beloved, are before us, but they are to affect us now in our testimony, and above all that there might be in our assembly service that which is for Himself in anticipation of that glorious day. In His Name!
7th January 2014