Gospel: John 16:16-20
A little while, and you will see me no more; and then a little while, and you will see me.”
Some of the disciples wondered, “What does he mean by, ‘A little while, and you will not see me; and then a little while, and you will see me’? And why did he say, ‘I go to the Father’?” And they said to one another, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to question him; so he said to them, “You are puzzled because I told you that in a little while you will see me no more, and then a little while later you will see me.
Truly, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn to joy.
“You will weep and mourn while the world rejoices.”
The oft repeated expression “a little while,” to be exact seven times, must be significant in the passage.
Some disciples cannot fi- gure out what he means, so they ask one another what he really means. They confess their lack of understanding.
It tells of the imminence of his going away to heaven and his coming back. We are sure that his departure is a matter of time, but his coming again may take longer, like years, centuries and millennia. His departure will leave them sad. But their sadness will be only for a while. Jesus assures them of his immediate return after his temporary absence.
Paul’s new friends, Aquila and Priscilla have a different story. They are forcibly exiled by Empe- ror Claudius from Rome. They un- derstood one another in terms of their trade as tentmakers. His new acquaintances must be very sad, because unlike the gospel story, they have no inkling whether they will be allowed to return to Rome, to make a living there again.
What is your stance on mig- ration? Do you hope that after separation from loved ones, you will meet them again someday? Can you bank on this hope to make you happy again?
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019