Verse 16: "A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me."
The first "little while" speaks of the remaining hours before the Crucifixion.
The second "little while," of the resurrection three days later.
Verse 17-18: "So some of his disciples said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and, 'because I am going to the Father'? 18So they were saying, "What does he mean by 'a little while'? We do not know what he is talking about."
Later, the disciples were able to grasp and understand this saying, but at the time, it was beyond their spiritual comprehension.
In verses 19 through 22 Jesus gives a more complete and wonderful explanation:
Verse 19: "Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, 'A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me?"
Jesus knows the heart of man, so He knew they wanted to ask the meaning, and then voluntarily began to explain.
20: "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. "
The word, mourn, "threno" refers to grief at death. Jesus was speaking of His crucifixion.
Their weeping and Lamenting would be their extreme sorrow at Jesus' death. Their grief would last a little while, but upon His resurrection would be turned to joy.
21: "When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world."
Jesus compares the disciple's sorrow that turns into joy, to that of a woman having pain before birth, who, after the baby is born, quickly forgets the pain, because of her delight in the new baby.
However, these words would only become significant and clearly understood by the disciples after the Resurrection.
In the following verses, Jesus describes the reasons for their future joy.
22: "So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."
The disciple's sorrow was only temporary. After they had witnessed Jesus' resurrection from the dead and had been filled with the Holy Spirit their relationship would be restored in a new and fantastic manner that would extend into eternity.
Verse 23-23: "In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full."
There is no mention of Jesus name, or of praying in the name of Jesus, in the "Lord's Prayer." (Matt 6:9-13)
To ask in Jesus name was something new to the disciples. Up to this point, they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit; afterward, a greater intimacy became possible between a Child of God, and the Father and the Son.
Mankind had been separated from God, and unable to approach Him since the sins of Adam and Eve. Upon Jesus death, the Temple veil of separation was rent from top to bottom, symbolizing the end of this terrible separation.
Now, through what Jesus did on the cross, man can directly approach God in prayer. The Holy Spirit, (the third entity in the "Trinity)," now indwells every Child of God, enabling them to speak directly to the Father, and the Father to them.
Verses 25: "I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father."
Jesus again tells the disciples to "pray directly to God, in His name;" because God loves them and will accept their prayers because they love and believe in Him.
Verse 26: "In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; "for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."
The Christian can approach God in the name of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, and offer all manner of prayer, requests, and petitions, or just to bask in the joy of worshiping Him.
A right relationship with Father God and Jesus includes the proper understanding of who Jesus is and to believe that Jesus was sent by God. (Rom 10:9-10)
Verse 28: "I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father."
This is possibly the most direct statement Jesus had ever made concerning His Deity and plans for after leaving earth.
Jesus was with the Father even before the world was created and had a part in all of creation. And He had been sent by the Father to the world for a brief period of approximately 33 years.
As we will see a little farther into this study, Jesus death on the cross accomplished what the Father had sent Him to do. He would soon return to His Home in Heaven to be with His Father.
Verse 29-30: "His disciples said, "Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God."
After Jesus made this very concise statement, concerning His mission on earth and return to Heaven, the disciples finally began to understand, Jesus' true mission.
Verse 31: "Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
Jesus statement, "you believe at last" could have been in the form of a question. This was not to say He doubted their faith, but that He knew their faith would be tested tremendously in the next few days.
Verse 32: "Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me."
They would abandon Jesus, and all be scattered. Even though the Apostle John, the writer of this Gospel, returned to the cross, he purposely remained out of harm's way.
Verse 33: "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
Jesus had told His disciples not to let their hearts be troubled (John 14:1).
The peace Jesus offered the Disciples was based upon His overcoming the world, through His death and resurrection, and then He says, "Take heart; I have overcome the world."
He was saying, I have won, and because I have won you and all who believe in me can receive Salvation and eternal life!
It was a miracle that Jesus could accomplish His mission on earth surrounded by those who seem to know so little. Even more amazing, was the dramatic change that came over these disciples on the Day of Pentecost.
These few men, who seemed to know so little, now empowered by the Holy Spirit, took the message of the cross to the entire world. This can only point to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, the same power that is available to us today.
This concludes our study of, "The Work of the Holy Spirit."
Our Next Study Is:
"The Great Intercessory Prayer"
Jesus prays for Himself, Prays for His Disciples and then Prays for all Believers.
Gospel of John Study Main Page
Trusting in Jesus, Home Page
Why is it so difficult for our educators and society, in general, to understand that love and respect for one another taught from a young age can solve much of the world's hostility and social problems!
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov 22:6).
Love is the answer!
True loyalty springs from the heart and is wrapped in love. It is often in our most private moments that true loyalty, or the lack of it, is made known.
Reaching the world with the message of Jesus
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Samuel L Mills
PO Box 4456
Maryville, TN 37802