“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. 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.
Here we are clearly told one of the reasons for Jesus’ departure and delay: He is in Heaven preparing mansions (dwelling places) for all of His saints that will come to believe on Him. There is a Jewish marriage tradition with very similar language to the type our Lord is presently using. When the son was engaged to a wife there was a minimal wait time of about one year. Though only engaged the affianced coupled were treated as married despite the fact that they did not yet live together; formal divorce proceedings would be needed to annul the marriage even at that point, see Matthew 1:18-19. During that time the son would build a home worthy of housing his new wife and their prospective family, overseen by his father; and it was solely at the father’s bidding or approval that the son would be sent off to fetch his bride-to-be. When the house met with the father’s approval the son would hurry off to his fiancé’s home to take her as his wife. In this regard the bride-to-be would always be vigilant because she did not know if her betrothed would come during the day, afternoon, night, or early in the morning. Often candles were kept alight in case he suddenly arrived in the middle of the night to claim his bride. He would then take her from her family’s house and bring her back to the place he prepared for her; but not until the groom’s father gave his consent.
Yet what of John 5:19 and 14:28, and other verses of the like when Jesus appears to display a servant attitude toward the Father, not a relationship of equals? First, we must remember that God the Son was first known as the Word, John 1:1. Before He was incarnated as the only begotten Son of God, Christ existed as God’s Word in eternity past. Nowhere in the Old Testament is Jesus referred to as God’s Son, save for prophetic passages in anticipation of Christ’s birth; see Psalm 2:7 for an example. It is by reason of His incarnation that our Lord is referred to as the Son of God, Luke 1:35. When Jesus was incarnated as a man He emptied Himself of His intrinsic deity and functioned as a man.