It’s Jesus’ last week on earth. He’s giving final instructions to his disciples.
Yesterday, he gave a dissertation on the Holy Spirit. Today, he starts off with this rather provocative statement:
“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.”
At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “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 saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 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. 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.
“Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 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.”
Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
The disciples are starting to get it (sort of). They can see that he knows “all things” and believe that he “came from God.”
But Jesus challenges the depth of their belief, noting that they will soon scatter and leave him “all alone.”
But Jesus is not alone. His Father is with him.
2. What exactly does he want us to do?
Let these words from Jesus roll around in your soul once more:
- “Your grief will turn to joy.”
- “No one will take away your joy.”
- “My Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.”
- “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
- “The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.”
- “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Ricardo Reitmeyer)