John 16:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 16:17, NIV: "At this, 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'?'"

John 16:17, ESV: "So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?”"

John 16:17, KJV: "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?"

John 16:17, NASB: "Some of His disciples then said to one another, 'What is this thing He is telling us, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'; and, 'because I go to the Father '?'"

John 16:17, NLT: "Some of the disciples asked each other, 'What does he mean when he says, 'In a little while you won't see me, but then you will see me,' and 'I am going to the Father'?"

John 16:17, CSB: "Then some of his disciples said to one another, "What is this he's telling us: 'A little while and you will not see me; again a little while and you will see me' and, 'because I am going to the Father'?""

What does John 16:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

It's tempting—and unfair—for modern readers to look back at Jesus' closest followers, the Twelve, with scorn. They frequently respond to Jesus' teachings with confusion, or even resistance (Matthew 16:21–23). However, we have the benefit of hindsight; we have a clear understanding of exactly what is about to happen (Luke 1:1–4). The men hearing from Christ during this Last Supper (John 13:1–5) don't have those advantages. They won't have clarity until after everything has happened (John 2:22), and they are guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:13).

The statement Jesus has just made is especially confusing for His disciples (John 16:16). Many of His recent comments mentioned leaving (John 16:7, 10), but now He has referred to being seen again, after a short while. What they don't know yet, is that after Jesus is arrested (John 18:1–3) and crucified (John 19:18), He will be resurrected (John 20:19), and appear to them for 40 days prior to ascending into heaven (Acts 1:3–9).

Jesus will take note of their struggle, however, and provide some clarity in the upcoming verses (John 16:19–20).