When we through John 16, we need to keep in mind that the things Jesus spoke to the disciples about all happened within a little over 40 days from the night he spoke with them that we read about in John 16. John chapters 14 to 16 are about Jesus preparing the disciples for his impending crucifixion, resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. Try to envision the real life drama that took place in real time for the disciples.
In John 16:16 Jesus tells them:
Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
The disciples were confused and distraught by this and asked themselves questions.
What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.”
Jesus was speaking of his impending death and resurrection. There is also application for us as we wait for Jesus to return. For Jesus his return is in a little while. Jesus is eternal and some 2,000 years is nothing to him. For us, it causes us to wonder where he is and when he will return.
Jesus then goes on to say.
Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
While the religious leaders were rejoicing over their temporary victory and others gloated, the disciples mourned the loss of Jesus because of his resurrection. Imagine their joy to see him after his resurrection.
Jesus compared it to a woman giving birth.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
I don’t think any woman rejoices over the pain of childbirth, but they rejoice holding their newborn baby. For the disciples the arrest, torture and crucifixion of Jesus was a time of sorrow, but to see him again after his resurrection caused great joy.
Jesus shared a great truth about prayer with them.
In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
We need to be careful and not think of this like a genie granting wishes, any wish, a person makes. The key is in Jesus’s name. If we ask in his name, it implies we are seeking his will as we seek to live for him and serve others.
Then Jesus refers to his ascension.
In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father
The Father loves us. Why? Because we believe in Jesus. The Father sent Jesus and Jesus returned to the Father in heaven.
What wonderful news that the Father loves us. We can rejoice that our Savior Jesus is with the Father in heaven.One day Jesus will return to earth. Until that time, we have work to do here and can pray to ask God to help us along the way.
We can look to Jesus so that our times of grief and sorrow might turn to joy in due time. If we have doubts, we can remember how the disciples must have felt when Jesus was crucified and then when he was resurrected. The resurrection of Jesus gives us the victory.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.