John 14:3 reads, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and take you to my side, that where I am, you also are."

First, the Greek term usually translated "receive" is παραλήμψομαι. However, it's meaning is not passive but active and even aggressive. Hence it not only means "receive" but "take to oneself".

It describes what a parent would do when a child steps into the street in front of on coming traffic. The parent reaches out and takes the child to themselves and to safety.

This is much more descriptive of the actually meaning of the text. Christ is not coming back to receive us but is coming back to "take us to his side".

The other important part of this passage is the tense of the verbs. παραλήμψομαι has a future tense to it meaning "I will come and take you to my side". 

This makes sense. Christ is speaking this at the Passover. He will be crucified, he will die, he will be buried and then he will rise. He will then come back to them. All of this is a future event relative to the night of the Passover.

However, most then translate the next part of Christ saying as, "That where I am, you may be also." Although this makes the English smooth, it is an incorrect translation and is misleading.

Literally in the Greek it reads, "That where I am, also you are." The meaning is clear. Once the future death and resurrections takes place, Christ will return in the future to take them to His side. And what will this accomplish? Not that they "may also be there" but that "where He is, we are".

In other words, once Christ secures the victory over death and sin, in His death and resurrection, He takes us along side Himself, and in so doing, where He now is (at the right hand of the Father on the other side of death in the resurrection) we are also there now. Thus this is not a future or potential state. It is the state we reside in, at this very moment, as believers in Christ. 

© 2010, VoiceWind. . .Greg Loveless. All rights reserved.

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