In His Time
July 23, 2022
"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" (John 16:16-18).
Sometimes the Word of God is too deep for us to understand at the time, but in time the Holy Spirit gives us understanding through prayer, meditation, and rolling up our spiritual sleeves and working the biblical texts (word study, concordance, commentary, etc.). Clearly the disciples didn’t grasp them meaning of Jesus’ words 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. They were heart-broken and allowed their emotions to cloud their discernment of spiritual truth. We don’t have a problem with these words because we have the luxury of hind-sight. They didn’t.
The disciples had been silent as they walked from the upper room, beyond the walls of Jerusalem, across the Kidron Valley and up the slope of the Mt. of Olives to the Garden of Gethsemane. They listened as Jesus spoke of things beyond their spiritual grasp. They wanted to ask questions, but were afraid because Jesus said, I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now (John 16:12). They wrestled with their emotions and with Jesus’ words, like Jacob wrestling with the Man (pre-incarnate Jesus) all night long (Genesis 32:24).
“I must tell Jesus all of my trials; I cannot bear these burdens alone; in my distress He kindly will help me; He ever loves and cares for His own. I must tell Jesus all of my troubles; He is a kind, compassionate friend; if I but ask Him, He will deliver, make of my troubles quickly an end. I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone; I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone” (E. A. Hoffman; 1894).
Jesus understood the spiritual dilemma the disciples were in and moved to give them comfort and clear up their ignorance. He always does. We just have to wait on Him to know when the time is right and we are ready to receive His counsel. John 21:15-19 is one of the great texts in the Bible. In it Jesus took a guilt-ridden, spiritually broken Peter and restored him to fellowship and discipleship. Here He answers the questions the disciples were too afraid to ask. It is reminiscent of the Word of God through the prophet Isaiah (65:24), It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear, and the words of Jesus (Matthew 6:8), . . . your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
One plaguing problem we have today is the problem of instant gratification. We have been conditioned to expect things immediately - fast food, fast travel, fast solutions. David sang (Psalm 25:4-5), Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Amen.