When Jesus taught, He often used illustrations from Jewish life and culture to make His teaching understood by His listeners. When I discover Jewish culture and lifestyle in the context of His teaching, I get excited. One such example is this passage from John 14. I’ve read it for years, but when I understood it from the perspective of Jewish culture I was amazed.
In my Father’s house are many rooms: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:2-3
Jewish weddings lasted a week. After the couple exchanged vows, the bride returned to her house and the groom to his father’s house. The groom and his father then built a room onto his father’s house (I go to prepare a place for you). When the new room was finished, the groom went to the bride’s house (I will come again) and took her back (and receive you unto myself) to his father’s house, where they would live (that where I am, there ye may be also).
His listeners understood His teaching because they knew about weddings. He explained heaven in a way his listeners understood and could relate to personally.
Wow! To me Jesus and his teaching get me excited to read more of His life and teachings. The more I discover, the more I want. The more I want, the more I read. What an exciting way to learn about God.
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