John 16:19
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?
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(19) Now Jesus knew they were desirous to ask him.—The purpose of His enigmatic saying (John 16:29) has been accomplished. Their attention has been excited, and they have taken the first step towards knowledge. They inquire among themselves, and this spirit of inquiry which He reads in their hearts (comp. John 2:25; John 6:6) He proceeds to answer. The first part of His answer is concerned with their difficulty about the “little while.” In Joh 16:28. He answers their thought about His going to the Father.

16:16-22 It is good to consider how near our seasons of grace are to an end, that we may be quickened to improve them. But the sorrows of the disciples would soon be turned into joy; as those of a mother, at the sight of her infant. The Holy Spirit would be their Comforter, and neither men nor devils, neither sufferings in life nor in death, would ever deprive them of their joy. Believers have joy or sorrow, according to their sight of Christ, and the tokens of his presence. Sorrow is coming on the ungodly, which nothing can lessen; the believer is an heir to joy which no one can take away. Where now is the joy of the murderers of our Lord, and the sorrow of his friends?A little while - His death would occur in a short time. It took place the next day. See John 14:19.

Ye shall not see me - That is, he would be concealed from their view in the tomb.

And again a little while - After three days he would rise again and appear to their view.

Because I go ... - Because it is a part of the plan that I should ascend to God, it is necessary that I should rise from the grave, and then you will see me, and have evidence that I am still your Friend. Compare John 7:33. Here are three important events foretold for the consolation of the disciples; yet they were stated in such a manner that, in their circumstances and with their prejudices, it appeared difficult to understand him.

16-22. 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—The joy of the world at their not seeing Him seems to show that His removal from them by death was what He meant; and in that case, their joy at again seeing Him points to their transport at His reappearance amongst them on His Resurrection, when they could no longer doubt His identity. At the same time the sorrow of the widowed Church in the absence of her Lord in the heavens, and her transport at His personal return, are certainly here expressed. In the terms of this verse there is nothing difficult, but in the matter of it there is much instructive. We learn from hence:

1. That though good men may as to some points be ignorant as to the mind and will of God, yet they will be desirous of further instruction in it. To be willingly and contentedly ignorant, is not consistent with a root of saving grace.

2. Christ knows the desires of our hearts, before they are made known to him by the words of our lips; but yet it will not follow, that we may satisfy ourselves with inward, secret desires, without making them known by our lips; for God requireth the calves of our lips, as well as the desires and groans of our inward man.

3. Christ is very ready to teach those whose hearts he seeth desirous to learn; therefore he saith,

Do ye inquire among yourselves? &c. Are you inquisitive? I am ready to teach and to instruct you.

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him,.... This is a proof of Christ's deity, that he is the omniscient God who knows all things, what is in man, even the secrets of the heart; for he not only knew the whisperings of the disciples, and their inquiries among themselves about the sense of his words, but also their secret desires to ask him concerning it:

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? which he said before they could put the question to him, they being bashful, and backward, through fear or shame; and which not only confirms what is before observed of his omniscience, but also shows his readiness to open his mind and meaning, and explain himself to his disciples, as he does in the following words.

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire 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?
John 16:19. Jesus observes what they would ask (comp. John 6:6), and extracts from them (as one who knows the heart, John 2:25; see subsequently John 16:30) the inquiry, not, however, setting aside the point, which they had also introduced from His earlier discourse (ὑπάγω πρ. τ. π.), but deferring it till the solemn conclusion of His instruction, John 16:28.

John 16:19. Jesus, perceiving their embarrassment, and that they wished to interrogate Him—ὅτι ἤθελον αὐτὸν ἐρωτᾷν—said to them: Περὶ τούτου … “Are you inquiring among yourselves?”—μετʼ ἀλλήλων, not as in John 16:17, πρὸς ἀλλήλους, “about this that I said,” etc.?

19. Now Jesus knew] More literally, Jesus recognized or perceived (see on John 8:55). We have here an indication that His supernatural power of reading the thoughts did not supersede His natural powers of observation, and perhaps was not used when the latter were sufficient: comp. John 5:6, John 6:15. A different verb is used for His supernatural knowledge (John 6:61; John 6:64, John 13:1; John 13:3; John 13:11; John 13:18, John 18:4, John 19:28). But this distinction between ginôskein and eidenai is not always observed: comp. John 2:24-25, where ginôskein is used of supernatural knowledge. Omit ‘now’ at the beginning of the verse.

among yourselves] Or, with one another. This is a third expression, differing from ‘among yourselves’ (John 12:19) and from ‘one to another (John 4:33). See on John 16:17. The whole should run, Concerning this do ye enquire with one another, that I said.

ye shall not see me] As in John 16:16-17, ye behold Me not.

John 16:19. Ὅτι ἤθελον, that they were wishing) with a praiseworthy wish. The good Saviour anticipated their questioning Him.—μικρὸν, a little while) Not without reason this is so often repeated.

Verse 19. - Now Jesus knew (perceived by his Divine penetration of human thought here quickened by their anxious look and hurried whisperings) that they were wishing to question him, and he said to them, Are you inquiring among yourselves concerning this that I said, A little while, etc.? In his repetition he does not quote the clause which they had added - i.e. added if the clause, Ver. 16, is not genuine. He proceeded to meet their difficulties. John 16:19Knew (ἔγνω)

Better, Rev., perceived. See on John 2:24.

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