33 Children, I am with you a little while. You will look for Me, and just as I said to the Jews, I also say to you now that where I go you cannot come.
The disciples would probably not have wanted to hear Jesus telling them that He would be with them a little while. The word used literally means a very little amount. We are privileged to know how small that time was to be, we know that within the next twenty four hours Jesus was to be arrested, tried and crucified.
The disciples may not have realized that Jesus would only be with them for a short time.
Jesus tells them that He is going to leave them. This was something that the disciples may have anticipated, since He had already told the Jews the same thing:
33 Then Jesus said: “I am with you for yet a little time and then I go to the One who sent Me.
34 You will look for Me, but you will not find (Me), and where I am you are unable to come.
This was on another occasion when Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, an autumn feast.
On both occasions Jesus was looking towards the cross, knowing that He was to face it alone. We can recall that Thomas had boldly said:
16 Then Thomas, the one called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples: “Let us also go that we might die with Him.”
This was the occasion when Jesus was to go to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead.
In the light of this the disciples may have been thinking that their lives were in danger.
However, Jesus removes from their minds any notion of them suffering death alongside of Him.
This was a journey He must take alone.
There was no one else who could do what He was about to do, which was to suffer and die in the place of sinful humanity.
The disciples and no one else could accompany Jesus on such a mission.
Jesus had to face death alone. Those who receive Him as Lord and Saviour do not face death alone.