John 16.16-19 cont.
16 ”In a little while and you will not see Me, but after a little while you will see Me.
17 Then 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: “but after a little while you will see Me”? Also: “Because I am going to the Father?””
18 Then they said: “What is this that .He is saying: “A little while?” We do not know what He is saying.”
19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask Him, so He said to them: “Are you asking amongst yourselves about what I said: “a little while and you will not see Me, and again after a little while and you will see Me?””
Jesus continues His teaching by telling the disciples that it would not be long before they would not see Him, but that after a while they would see Him.
Jesus had already said something similar in chapter 14.19:
In yet a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you see Me; because I live you will also live.
When looking at this verse we saw that Jesus was most likely referring to His death on the cross and His resurrection.
It is generally agreed that Jesus was referring to His death on the cross when He said that in only a short while they wouldn’t see Him. In a few hours He was to be taken from them, and eventually hung on the cross to die, and be buried in a private tomb.
He would literally be taken from their view and presence.
This was a very hard message to bear.
Families who face the imminent death of a loved one experience the pain that the anticipated death causes. It is a dreadful time. It may be a time filled with ‘if only’s’. It may be a time of wondering what is going to happen after the loved one has gone. It may be a precious time of living life to the fullest extent as is possible, of saying things that have been left unsaid, of asking questions that can’t be asked later.
It is an anxious time.
Jesus was leading His disciples into such a time. For them it was an unthinkable time, as they had not been apart from Jesus since He called them to be with Him.
It was a time of great anxiety. Jesus had always led them, guided them, and defended them. What would they do without His presence?
It was a time of great uncertainty. This is seen by their persistent questioning about what Jesus meant.
We can be thankful that we live within the promise that Jesus is with us all the time, and that He will never leave us. Therefore, we need never be anxious about anything.