Some of his disciples said to one another, "What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and 'because I am going to the Father'?"
Here the Teacher alludes to two separate visitations.
First, He knows His death on the cross will create a separation from His students. But He also knows – and wants them to understand – this will be a temporary interruption in their relationship. He will appear to them after the resurrection!
You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy… Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
And this is exactly what happened isn’t it? After three days, Jesus arose from the dead and visited with them for forty days.
But Jesus also knows He will ascend into heaven. That’s why He tells them - because I am going to the Father…
Jesus also wants them to know – and every student today as well – His return to heaven will not result in the permanent loss of His presence. He will permanently establish His relationship with His followers through the sending of the Holy Spirit.
A short ten days after His ascension into heaven the Holy Spirit came upon His followers. It is this second visitation – more than the brief physical reappearance to them – that creates a lasting, life-changing relationship with His students.
Jesus’ temporary disappearance at death yielded to re-emergence in resurrection. And His transport to heaven resulted in His return in the form of the Holy Spirit.
This is the enduring visitation of Jesus every student enjoys today - In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name…Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.