A Little While

A little while, and you will not see Me

A Little While
JOHN 16 COMMENTARY
John 16:13-15 Spirit of Truth

John 16:16-23 A Little While

John 16:24-27 Ask and You Shall Receive
JOHN 16:16-20  16 “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.” 17 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’?” 18 They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.” 19 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? 20 Truly, truly, 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.

What did Jesus mean in John 16:16?
His impending death and resurrection, to be followed by His ascension to God the "Father" (John 16:16) in heaven.

What will the disciples do upon His death?
They will "weep and lament, and... be sorrowful" (John 16:20).

What will happen upon His resurrection?
Their "sorrow will be turned into joy" (John 16:20) and their hearts "will rejoice" (John 16:22).

JOHN 16:21-22  21 “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the suffering, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 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.

A woman's labor gives birth to a new life. What does Jesus’ death on the cross accomplish?
Grants everlasting life to a countless number of people.

Why does Jesus refer to the "sorrow" (John 16:21) of a woman in labor?
The translated Greek word is λυπην (lupen), which can mean either "sorrow" or "pain."

What doesn't Jesus mention?
The far greater pain that He will suffer in the coming hours.

Why?
He will talk to God the Father about that in private shortly. Here, He is using this analogy is to give His disciples hope of what lies beyond their sorrow.

Why will "no one... take" (John 16:22) the joy of Jesus' resurrection from His disciples?
Jesus' resurrection will prove His deity and validate everything He told them, including about the glorious everlasting life in heaven that awaits them after their death. Agents of Satan will attack, cause suffering and even kill Jesus' disciples, but "... the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18). The joy and hope of true Christians are rooted in heaven, not in the remainder of earthly life, which the Bible calls "vapor" in this sinful, fallen world: "For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (James 4:14).

What about the men who tell people to live their "best life now"?
They are to be accursed - "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed" (Galatians 1:8-9) - while those who heed them are to be pitied: "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable" (1 Corinthians 15:19).

JOHN 16:23  23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.

To what "day" (John 16:23) is Jesus referring?
Three days in the future, by which time He will have paid on the cross the death penalty due for their sins, thereby eliminating the blockage between them and God the Father, and have risen from the dead to prove His claims about His deity and the purpose of His sacrifice on the cross.

Why must Christians "ask the Father" in Jesus' "name"?
If you request an audience with a foreign head of state, your request will be denied unless you do so as an emissary of your own head of state. Then the audience will be granted, not because of who you are on your own, but because of to whom you belong. God the Father will hear you not because you are worthy to approach Him on your own but because you belong to Jesus and come in His name.

Will God the Father really give us "whatever" (John 16:23) we ask in Jesus' name?
See next page.