A Little While
July 21, 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 (John 16:16).
Being raised in Arkansas in the 1960's, I learned the cultural meaning of time, not the literal meaning, but the cultural meaning of time. Words such as, ‘in a little while’ or ‘soon’ or ‘directly’ were used to convey the idea of time not defined by hours, minutes, or seconds. I remember my father asking Vernon Scantling to come to the ranch and drill a water well. My dad had heard of Mr. Scantling and went to his house to work out the details. After they settled on a price, they shook hands. As we left his house Mr. Scantling said, “I’ll be on out to your place d’rectly.” He didn’t show up for 2 days. That was not uncommon back there and then.
The phrase a little while is like saying ‘soon’ or ‘directly’. In John 7:33 Jesus said to the Jews, I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. At that time His crucifixion was 6-7 months away. In John 12:35 Jesus said to the Jews, A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. . . . At that time His crucifixion was 5 days away. In our text for today, a little while, and you will not see Me, His crucifixion was less than 24 hours away.
A little while, and you will not see Me refers to the crucifixion of Jesus. . . and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father refers to the resurrection and ascension of Jesus. After His ascension, the disciples wouldn’t see Jesus until their death when they would be ushered into His presence in heaven, except for John, who would see the resurrected Jesus on the Isle of Patmos (Revelation 1).
What’s the point? Time. It’s a troubling companion. When we were young time seemed to pass so slowly, like molasses in winter. We couldn’t wait for school to be out and summer to begin. It took forever to get to age 16 when we could get our driver’s license, or age 21 when we would finally be ‘legal’. Now that we’re older, time flies by. It seems like yesterday when I married, when my children were born, when my grandsons were born. The years pass like days.
Compared to eternity, our lifetime is like a drop of water in the Pacific Ocean. Moses observed (Psalm 90:4-6,10), For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night. You carry them away like a flood; they are like a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which grows up: in the morning it flourishes and grows up; in the evening it is cut down and withers. . . The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
For years now I have longed for the Lord’s return. I don’t know when that will be - no one knows. Like the Apostle John wrote (Revelation 22:20), He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! I pray He comes soon! Amen.