John 16:16-20
John 16:16 (KJB)
A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
Jesus is pointing to the fact that He will be going to the cross. He will then be buried and during that time they will not see Him until after His resurrection. Then they will be with Him for forty days until His ascension. During the time that Jesus will be buried, He will go to the Father for that short time period and then return to His earthly body to finish out His earthly ministry. Contrary to bad exegesis, Jesus did not go to hell and preach to the fallen angels. His body went into the ground and His spirit went back to Heaven. See my study on “Did the Lord Jesus Christ go to hell” at
John 16:17 (KJB)
Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
Once again the disciples were in a state of consternation because they had no idea what Jesus was talking about. This is why He told them a little while ago that He had many things to say to them but they could not bear them now. At this point they were still in a state of bewilderment which would come to a climax very shortly.
John 16:18 (KJB)
They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
As they spoke amongst themselves, they did not know what Jesus was speaking about and it continued to cause them emotional troubles. It is something that they seemed to be in total ignorance concerning the coming events since that is what Jesus was focusing on for quite a while as He was speaking to them so they would know what was going to happen before it did. It could be at this point that their emotions overtook their intellect which can happen very easily.
John 16:19 (KJB)
Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
It seemed that they were fearful to ask Jesus what He meant concerning His previous statement. When we see the disciples in this state, we can rejoice because of the Holy Spirit being sent to indwell the believer. Without Him, we would never be able to understand spiritual things or even remember biblical things. This verse is very important for us in understanding why we need the Holy Spirit in our daily lives and ministries. Without Him we would accomplish nothing.
John 16:20 (KJB)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
Jesus is telling the disciples that very soon they are going to weep and lament over His death in the coming few days when they will be without the Lord Jesus Christ. Simultaneously, those who put Jesus to death will rejoice because they will think that that they are finally rid of Him. The world rejoices whenever a true born again Christian dies because that is one less accuser of their satanic lifestyle and one less who will preach about the coming judgment. The Lord then says that they will be sorrowful at His death because He was not only the Lord but He was also their friend that they came to know intimately over a three year period. However, He does not leave them in a state of sorrow but assures them that their sorrow will be turned into joy. Joy is a perpetual state of the Christian and is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Happiness is something which can change in a moment based upon circumstance. Joy under girds the Christian through all circumstances. The disciples will be joyous when they see that the Lord has risen from the dead and shows Himself to them. He will spend the next 40 days with them and then after His ascension, 10 days later they will receive the Holy Spirit who will guide them and strengthen them in their earthly ministries but will also be with them for eternity. Their joy will be made complete when they leave this earth and go to Heaven for eternity.