"A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father."
Then some of His disciples said among themselves, "What is this that He says to us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father'?"
They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying."
Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'?
Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
A woman, when she is in labour, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
"And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
We see that Jesus is giving the disciples an understanding of His Resurrection, yet they remain confused by His words. We might consider the disciples to be a bit slow to grasp the truth, but we must also remember that we already know what happened thereafter, how things unfolded in the world.
Their reaction is one that all of us might have, when our teacher speaks of things that are contrary to our everyday experience. Jesus’ “now you’ll see me, now you won’t” speech could come across to us as obfuscation, should we not know otherwise. He seems on occasions to speak in riddles. Why not explain it simply to begin with?
Jesus speaks truth always, but throughout the Gospels has to explain that truth in parables for us to understand. Jesus’ words come straight from the throne of God, but as our intercessor, He must bring God’s message and then re-interpret those words for our limited understanding. Thus, the ‘riddles’ are a difference language which we cannot yet grasp, unless Jesus translates for us.
Jesus’ story of a woman in labour, forgetting her anguish when she experiences the joy of her newborn child, perfectly captures sorrow turned to joy, while giving the disciples a real life example to help them see the heavenly reality of what was occurring. It shows us afresh that Jesus is more real than real — if I can put it like that. Supernatural reality and Earthly reality become one in His person.
“Most assuredly”, (or “Verily, verily” in the King James Version), is mentioned twenty five times in John’s Gospel, and twice in our chosen passage today. ‘Verily’ means ‘truthfully’, made more so by repetition. The modern ‘most assuredly’ emphasises the promise in the truth, that our “sorrow will turn to joy” and that we should “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Meditate On These Things
So the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
And come to Zion with singing,
With everlasting joy on their heads.
They shall obtain joy and gladness;
Sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
THEREFORE THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD SHALL RETURN — Maranatha Music
A HOLY COMMAND: Oswald Chambers on LOVE
GEORGE and GILL STEWART