The disciples were discussing and debating everything Jesus said. When He spoke about time, a little while…and again a little while, did they hear this as a riddle? Jesus spoke it this way for a reason, perhaps to have them in that open question frame of mind. He certainly has their attention!
Now they are ready and He alerts them to listen closely to this truly truly and He promises weeping and lamenting in contrast to a rejoicing world. Imagine that for me. It is great sorrow of mine when the culture around me has an opposite reaction to the same event. What feelings does that evoke and intensify? Fear? Shame? Anxiety? Confusion? Guilt? Anger? Hurt? Feeling personally attacked or targeted? Yet, Jesus does not let them ponder this now, or at least we are told right then that He also said that their sorrow would turn to joy. He spoke this contrasting message all in the same breath. Crushing feelings contrasted to joy. He promises a joy that expands rather than sorrow which contracts.
We are told very early in John’s book that we must be born again. Jesus now compares His death and resurrection to birth. When we women give birth there is intense but temporary pain. I always joke about “mother brains” that if a mother was not forgetful she would never have more than one child! It really seems as if you do forget what labor feels like till you are back in there again and the pains come once more. The second time you have the memory of the birth and the amazing joy of that tender life in your arms so that you forget anything else your body is doing. I am amazed at the great strength of a woman who gives birth after the loss of a previous child; I am in awe of that courage and hope.
Jesus is speaking first to the woman when He speaks these words, to the fathers in the room as well. Without personal experience these words have less understanding, and those who have given birth, can testify to that. What an affirmation of marriage and family and of women. (Again, I wonder if the women were there in the room and just not mentioned by the male writers?)
But this is Jesus’ chosen metaphor to prepare them for what is to come. Therefore you too will have sorrow, a sorrow that will turn to joy when they see Him again. The human body of Jesus is born again. Life itself is the womb, death is the passage, the grief of his family is the labor pains and His resurrection is His new life, the great joy, and the rebirth. Jesus, the firstborn of all created beings, in the flesh as creator, created Himself in Mary’s womb; He now is created through death and resurrection into the second Adam, the firstborn. Jesus has led the way. This is the way He went. This is the way we all as believers follow.
Since we live in the days past His resurrection, in His name we can ask, and He will give anything from the Father to us. Now started the time to ask in Jesus name. We ask Jesus, we ask the Father. It is the same. It is great joy.
A promise fulfilled is a fact. The facts are that Jesus died. That Jesus arose. That He returned to the Father. That Jesus lives. That Jesus hears our prayers and answers because we are loved. Therefore it is a fact that when we ask Jesus, in Jesus name, His promise is the answer comes. Jesus is not an intercessor to the Father; Jesus is One with the Father. My asking Jesus, knowing Him as from the Father, is my faith in action. My love of Jesus is love of the Father.
Just as Jesus is not alone when the next hour came and all were scattered, because He is with the Father, I can understand by my faith in Jesus, that I am never alone. Never. No matter what is around me in the world. I have Jesus. He is enough. The rest is temporary.
Lord, friend, Jesus, remind me in my lonely times the great company of Your love that surpasses all earthy feelings. Let me rest my emotions in Your presence. Let me take each breath of faith that restores and feeds my soul and gives strength to my next step, in Your name, in Your presence within me, in Your great love.
Take courage, I have overcome the world.