28 You have heard that I told you: “I am going, and I am coming back to you. If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than Me.
29 And now I have told before it happens, so then when it should happen you might believe.
Words of re-assurance are beneficial to all of us. Naturally we need to be able to believe and trust such words. This trust is built upon the experience we have of the person speaking. At the present time our youngest daughter and husband have gone away to the USA, and they have also told us that they are coming back. We are pleased for them, and since we know them we believe their assurance of their planned date to return home.
Jesus spoke words of re-assurance to His disciples. In verse 28 He re-affirms His going away and His return.
It would appear that the disciples were less than happy about the departure of Jesus, and we might have some sympathy with how they felt.
What Jesus was telling them was that they were in for a drastic change from how things had been since they had become His disciples. They probably could not imagine what the future was going to be like without Jesus. He had already told them not to let their hearts be troubled. However, Jesus could see that their hearts were disturbed and agitated. Therefore, He speaks to re-assure them of His return.
Jesus also tells them that if they love Him they would have been happy. This may seem a strange comment for Jesus to say, but their happiness would have displayed that they had an understanding of why He had come into the world, and what He was about to achieve by His departure. Their lack of happiness showed that they had not fully grasped the course of the mission of Jesus to bring salvation to mankind.
Our life in Jesus is one that may require changes to take place. There will be times when Jesus calls us to leave where He has placed us and go to a different place. This happened to Abram:
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you” – Genesis (NLT).
The calling and purposes of God on our life is always something to be happy about, even though there will be some sadness in people being taken from us.