May 29, 2014
Today’s gospel: John 16:16-20
The disciples were intrigued by what Jesus said. “A little while and you will no longer see me, and again a little while later and you will see me. So some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What does this mean” (v.16-17a). It could have meant that he was to die and would be in the tomb for three days, but that he would resurrect and appear to them, thus be seen a little while later. But then Jesus also said, “Because I am going to the Father” (v.17b). So they would not see him any longer not because he was in the tomb for three days, but because he would go back to heaven. Jesus then is speaking about his return from heaven to earth, to his second coming.
Now just like the disciples, we ask, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?” (v.18a). The early disciples expected Jesus to return soon, even in their lifetimes. But it has now been almost 2,000 years. Well, in the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day. Jesus indeed is returning. It might be another millennium, or it might be soon in the way we reckon time. But Jesus will certainly be seen again in a little while.
Thus we must be prepared for his return, which no one knows when. Thus we must evangelize with urgency, so that many more will be saved as we await the Lord’s return. Today the world is in darkness, and it seems as if the world dominated by the enemy has triumphed. “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices” (v.20a). But it is Jesus who is victorious, and the enemy has already been crushed. God will overturn the situation in the world and the lot of people. We must just do our share in helping ensure that more people find themselves on the right side when Jesus finally returns. Thus “you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” (v.20b).
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God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)