Therefore, out of love for them He tells them what they are about to do. Not to cause them distress but in order to let them know that knowing their betrayal beforehand He nonetheless loves them past present and future.
Verses 14-15 read:
“14 He (The Holy Spirit) will glorify, cause to think, be of the opinion of (doxazo[G]) Me, for He will carry (lambano[G]) of Mine and will announce it, make it known (anaggello[G]) to you. 15 All individual and collective things (pas) as far as they extend (hosos[G]) and are held (echo[G]) by the Father (ho Pater[G], ha Av[H]) are Mine; therefore I said that He carries (lambano[G]) of Mine and will announce it, make it known (anaggello[G]) to you.”
16 “In a little (mikron[G]) while, indeed you will no longer see, look at, behold, be a spectator of (theoreo[G], tironiy[H]) Me; and anew (palin[G]) in a little (mikron[G]) while, indeed I will allow Myself to be seen (optanomai[G], techezoniy[H]).”
Yeshua explains that His death is imminent, thus “In a little while”. His disciples will no longer look upon Him in the flesh because He will be in the tomb. This may be seen as a progression in that the majority of the disciples desert Him at Gan Shemenim (Gethsemane) while Peter and John remain, until Peter flees after being identified as one of Yeshua’s followers, leaving John to observe the remaining parts of Yeshua’s trial. Therefore, some of the disciples would not see Yeshua for a longer period of time than others. Ultimately, as I have already stated, Yeshua is referring to His death and interment and further His ascension following His resurrection.
The Hebrew “me’at” meaning “in a short time, a little while” etc. denotes immediacy, as is seen by its use in Haggai 2:6 and elsewhere.
The Greek palin can be translated “again” but is better translated here as “anew”, which denotes both a return and a rebirth (not reincarnation but born anew in this world). This refers to His resurrection and to His transformed body. Therefore, He is the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5) and the first of many children (Rom. 8:29). His body which was perishable is made imperishable. He is not remade but made anew. This is consistent with Jewish belief in the resurrection of the body. We believe according to the Tanakh that we will rise physically at the last day and that the righteous will be transformed as metaphysical and everlasting beings. Our bodies do not cease to be material in the Olam Haba (World to come) rather they are sinless, body, mind, soul, physical and transcendent.
While the standard English translation “and again in a little while you will see me” is technically correct because by making Himself seen Yeshua is providing the disciples the opportunity to see Him, it is nonetheless more accurate to translate “I will allow Myself to be seen”. This means that Yeshua will reveal the authority He has been given by the Father to both lay down His life and take it up again. Additionally, He will impart true sight to His disciples, allowing them to see Him for Who He really is in all His resurrected glory.
Concerning the Messiah’s death and resurrection the prophet Hosea prophecies the perspective of the people who benefit from the redemptive act of God saying:
“After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” -Hosea 6:2 KJV
Therefore, Yeshua’s death and resurrection will also result in the resurrection of Israel, both physical and spiritual and will begin with His immediate disciples. Note that the text of Hosea says “we shall live in His sight” rather than “we will see Him”. This is consistent with Yeshua saying “I will allow Myself to be seen.”
17 Therefore, His talmidim[H] (mathetes[G], disciples, pupils) then said to one another, “What is this thing He is telling us, ‘A little (mikron[G], umik’tzat[H]) while, indeed you will not see, look at, behold, be a spectator of (theoreo[G], tironiy[H]) Me; and anew (palin[G]) in a little (mikron[G]) while, indeed I will allow Myself to be seen (optanomai[G], techezoniy[H])’; indeed, ‘because I go to the Father (Ho Pater[G], Ha Av[H])’?”
The questioning of the disciples tells us that they were still unsure of the timeframe of the coming events and considered Yeshua’s words to be figurative and thus they were trying to understand Him figuratively and were coming up empty.
The added phrase “because I go to the Father” refers to verse 10 and the work of the Holy Spirit that will result from Yeshua returning to the Father. This is not a reference to Yeshua’s location during death but to His ascension to the Father following the resurrection and the forty days of appearances to His wider body of disciples. Therefore, the disciples seem to be trying to understand the timeline. “Will He go to the Father first? Is He talking about dying? How does this all work out?” and so on.
18 Therefore, they were asking, “What is this that He says, ‘A little (mikron[G], k’tzat[H]) while’? We don’t see, perceive (eido[G]) what He’s talking about.” 19 Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) knew, had knowledge (ginosko[G], vayeida[H]) of what they wished to question Him about, and He said to them, “Are you discussing this together, that I said, ‘A little (mikron[G], k’tzat[H]) while, and you will not see, look at, behold, be a spectator of (theoreo[G], tironiy[H]) Me, and anew (palin[G]) in a little (mikron[G], k’tzat[H]) while, indeed I will allow Myself to be seen (optanomai[G], techezoniy[H])’?
Yeshua is said to have knowledge of what the disciples were discussing among themselves. While it is possible He overheard them the inference of the text is that He knew this by way of Divine knowledge rather than by practical means.
We note that the vision of the disciples is limited because it is based on physical sight (eido[G]), whereas the vision of Yeshua is metaphysical, transcendent and is an expression of Divine knowledge (ginosko[G], yeda[H]).
The Talmud Bavliy Sanhedrin 93:2 says that the Messiah will have a discerning spirit concerning both men and things, according to Isaiah 11:3.
20 Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, that you will mourn (klaio[G]) and wail (threneo[G]), but this world (ho de kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) will rejoice, be glad (chairo[G], yismach[H]); you will be made sorrowful (lupeo[G]), but your sorrow (lupe[G]) will become, receive being, begin to be (ginomai[G]) joy, gladness (chara[G], lesason[H]). 21 Whenever a woman is in labour she has sorrow, pain (lupe[G]), because her certain definite time, hour (hora[G]) has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the pressing together, pressure, anguish, distress, travail (thlipsis[G]) because of the joy, gladness (chara[G], s’meichah[H]) that a child has been born into this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]).
The familiar “Amen, amen” reminds us that what follows has been firmly established. The promise given is one of mourning, sorrow, and suffering while the fallen world rejoices. Nonetheless while this was specifically said concerning the immediate struggles of the disciples it is in principal a certain reality for all true believers. The good news is that the sorrow of the disciples will be turned into temporal joy (sasson[H]) and subsequently, following the travail of their labour for the Kingdom within the fallen world, into transcendent joy (simchah[H]). All this based on the foundation of the travail experienced by the Father in the Son as He gives birth to the true B’nay Elohim (Children of God).
We note that the same Greek word used to convey the sorrow/pain of labour during the birth process also express the sorrow that the disciples will experience (lupe[G]). Yeshua is using a living mashal (example) to convey the metaphysical rebirth intrinsic to His resurrection. This is a complex teaching. The plain meaning likens the coming sorrow of the disciples to that of a woman giving birth and promises a joyous outcome of sound birth and new life that will cause them to forget their temporal sorrow/pain. At a deeper level the sorrow/pain of Yeshua, and indeed of the Father, in rebirthing the disciples, and by succession every believer, will inevitably lead to the greatest of joys in producing everlasting children of life. Put crassly, the womb of God will suffer the pain of birthing His predestined children through the blood of Messiah, and the outcome will be children of transcendent joy (simchah[H]) living eternal lives in God.
22 Therefore you too at the present time (nun[G]) have sorrow, pain, grief (lupe[G]); but anew, and returning (palin[G], ashuv[H]) I will allow Myself to be seen by you (optomai[G]), and your heart, inner being (kardia[G], leiv[H]) will rejoice exceedingly (chairo[G], sas[H]), and no one will carry away (airo[G]) or separate (apo[G]) your joy (chara[G], simchatchem[H]) from you.
Yeshua acknowledges the present sorrow being experienced by the disciples as they struggle to understand while knowing deep down that all this is leading to His death and their disillusion.
As is so often the case in Yeshua’s ministry He disregards His own anguish in order to minister to the anguish of others with selfless perfection. In the soil of their sorrow He plants the seed of hope. He is promising to return to them anew, revealing His true nature to them and filling their inner beings with exceedingly great and transcendent joy. Additionally He affirms that the joy He will impart to them will be immutably secure, no one in all creation under any circumstance will be able to take the joy of Yeshua in God from them.
23 In that day (hemera[G], vayom[H]) you will not question, request of, entreat, beg of (erotao[G]) Me concerning anything. Amen[H] [G]Amen[H] [G] (B’emet[H], B’emet[H]), In truth, In truth, It’s certain, it’s certain, I (Aniy[H]) say to you, if you ask the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) for anything in My name (bishmiy[H]), He will give (yitein[H]) it to you.
This is the culmination of the teaching begun in John 14:13. “In My Name” means “In My Character”, “In My Will”, “In My Identity”, “In My Purposes”, “In My eternal perspective” and so on. The prerequisite to receiving anything asked for in Yeshua’s Name is that the thing asked for is “In His will”, “According to His purposes” etc.
The double amen denotes established truth and what follows affirms Yeshua’s teaching concerning prayer. We are to speak directly to the Father through the Son. This does not mean that we must tag “In Yeshua’s Name Amen” onto every prayer we pray as if the repetition of a mantra validates prayer. Rather, it means that in Yeshua and according to the Holy Spirit we are to pray to the Father God as sons and daughters. In this Yeshua is indicating the fact that He will be seated at the right hand of the Father and will no longer be present in material body on earth, until that day when He returns to reign.
13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence which we have [a]before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.15 And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.
-1 John 5:13-15 NASB
24 Until just this moment (arti[G]) you have asked, desired, begged (aiteo[G]) for nothing in My name (bishmiy[H]); ask, desire, beg (aiteo[G]) and you will receive, so that your joy (chara[G], simchat’chem[H]) may be made full (pleroo[G]).
The disciples had not thought to ask things of Yeshua perhaps because they were constantly seeing Him work miraculous signs that they might have otherwise asked for but need not request because they were witnessing them as an outworking of Yeshua’s ministry. Therefore, now that Yeshua is about to leave He is instructing them to desire, ask, plead for the things of Him, so that they might continue to work as sent ones of the Kingdom and that in the receiving of the good things of God might see the salvation of many, that their joy might be made full.
25 “These things I have spoken to you using mashaliym [H] figurative, unusual language, parables (paroimia[G]); a certain definite time, hour (hora[G]) is coming when I will no longer speak to you in mashaliym [H] figurative, unusual language, parables (paroimia[G]), but will tell you frankly, plainly, devoid of ambiguity, fearlessly, unreservedly (parrhesia[G]) of the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]).
Yeshua has taught in mashalim (parables) for a reason. All that Yeshua revealed was conveyed in a progression so as to bring understanding to its fullness at the right time according to God’s redemptive purpose. Had Yeshua spoken plainly from the beginning His work might have been impeded. This would have been a form of disobedience toward God, something that the Messiah is incapable of. Now the definite time is at hand when He will reveal the Father to the disciples and ultimately to all who receive Yeshua as the King Messiah.
26 In that day (hemera[G], bayom[H]) you will ask, desire, beg (aiteo[G]) in My name (bishmiy[H]), and I do not say to you that I will request (erotao[G]) of the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) on your behalf;
This is important, Yeshua is clear to teach that we are to pray in His Name to the Father. He emphatically states “I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf”. While it is true that Yeshua is One with the Father, and that He intercedes for us (Rom. 8:34), it is also true that Yeshua instructs us to pray to the Father. I do not pass judgement on those who pray “Jesus, please…” but I do ask, where does Yeshua instruct us to pray to Him?
27 for the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) Himself has familial love (phileo[G], Oheiv[H]) for you, because you have had familial love (phileo[G], ahav’tuniy[H]) for Me and have believed, trusted, been persuaded (pisteuo[G], v’he’eman’tem[H]) that I came forth from, beside, near (para[G]) the God (Ho Theos[H], kiy-meieit Elohiym[H]).
It is hear that the disciples and all believers begin to understand just how awesome the work of Yeshua is. Through His life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension Yeshua has made it possible for each one of us who receives Him and is reconciled to God to become part of God’s family. The text says that God has familial love (phileo[G]) for the disciples (and all who believe) because they (we) have chosen to have familial love (phileo[G]) for Yeshua and have trusted that He has come from the Father God.
Therefore, with the Spirit of Messiah in us we cry “Abba, Father!”
28 I came forth from the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) and have come into the world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]); anew (palin[G]) I am leaving the world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) and going to the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]).”
Yeshua had come into the world from the Father in order to perform the ultimate act of sacrificial love by shedding His blood for us. He was then anew to leave the fallen world and go to the Father so that His Spirit could be poured out on all who believe and thus spread the good news of God’s redemptive love throughout the world giving all an opportunity to receive salvation and eternal life.
29 His talmidim[H] (mathetes[G], disciples, pupils) responded saying, “We see, perceive (eido[G]) now You are speaking freely, plainly, frankly, without ambiguity (parrhesia[G]) and are not using a mashal[H] figure of speech (paroimia[G]).
At this point the disciples claim to see and perceive what Yeshua is telling them. To them “leaving the world” meant death. Yeshua was plainly telling them that He was about to die, however what He meant by “going to the Father” was that He would ascend to the Father’s right hand following His resurrection from the dead.
30 Now we see, perceive (eido[G]) that You see, perceive (eido[G]) all things, each individually (pas[G]), and have no need for anyone to question You; because of this we believe, trust, are persuaded (pisteuo[G], na’amiyn[H]) that You came from God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]).”
In part this seems to have been triggered by Yeshua’s supernatural knowledge of their dilemma and the subsequent explanation concerning His having come from the Father and His need to return to the Father. However, what follows causes one to question how deep the disciples’ understanding was when they made this claim.
31 Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Joshua, YHVH Saves, Jesus) answered them, “Do you just now at this moment (arti[G]) believe, trust (pisteuo[G], ta’amiynu[H])?
Yeshua’s question, is intentionally ambiguous, it asks, “Is your faith simply in the moment or is it perpetual?” and, “After all you’ve seen and heard you just now worked it out?”. As is often the case when He addresses issues of faith and discipleship, Yeshua invokes sober self-examination in the hearts of His beloved disciples. There is a note of mild incredulity here, or is it sadness. With all they have seen and experienced of Him are they just now coming to true faith? Will their professed faith hold? The truth is that the fullness of their faith does not come until after His resurrection.
32 Behold, now, pay attention (Hineih[H]) a certain definite hour (hora[G]) is coming, and has come, for you to be scattered, each to his own, and to leave Me alone; and I am not alone, because the Father (Ho Pater[G], HaAv[H]) is with Me.
Yeshua is alluding to the prophet Zechariah:
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” -Zechariah 13:7 KJV
Yeshua knows that the disciples genuinely mean what they have said, He also knows the frailty of humanity and that they will act in an entirely contrary way when He is arrested tried and crucified. Therefore, out of love for them He tells them what they are about to do. Not to cause them distress but in order to let them know that knowing their betrayal beforehand He nonetheless loves them past present and future. In other words:
“I know you mean what you say, that you have believed in the father and have received me in faith, and I know that your frailty will cause you to abandon me. But don’t fall into utter disappear when that happens, remember what I’ve said, that I knew you would do these things and have loved you knowing it. I will not be alone, the Father is with Me.”
33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace, wholeness, wellbeing (shalom[H]). In this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]) you have pressing together, travail, distress, troubles (thlipis[G]), nevertheless, be of good courage (tharseo[G]); I have conquered (nikao[G]) this world (ho kosmos[G], ha olam[H]).”
Note that He informed His disciples of their coming abandoning of Him in order that they might have peace.
The Greek thlipis links the pressing troubles that the disciples endure in this sin affected world to the birthing process described by way of mashal (figure) earlier in the chapter. Therefore, we read “In this world you will have temporary troubles, nevertheless, be of godly courage (only God is good); I have conquered this sin affected world.”
Note the past tense “have conquered”. That which Yeshua is about to do He has already done outside of time and space. He will die and be raised transcendent and therefore transcends His temporal earthly life and ministry being God with God before the creation of the world (John 1). Thus, “I have conquered this world”. Note also that in conquering the fallen world He has defeated and conquered its temporal ruler Satan (Prince of the world) just as He said He had done earlier in this extended section of teaching and dialogue with His disciples (John 12:31). This means that the hold of Satanic power and the fallen nature is broken for all who would receive Yeshua and be reconciled to God. Therefore, in Messiah we sin when we forget who we are. For the child of God in Yeshua sin is the act (be it in thought or deed) of being who we are not.
Copyright 2020 Yaakov Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,