John 16:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 16:19, NIV: "Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, 'Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me'?"

John 16:19, ESV: "Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?"

John 16:19, KJV: "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?"

John 16:19, NASB: "Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, 'Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me'?"

John 16:19, NLT: "Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, 'Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won't see me, but a little while after that you will see me again."

John 16:19, CSB: "Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, and so he said to them, "Are you asking one another about what I said, 'A little while and you will not see me; again a little while and you will see me'?"

What does John 16:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The disciples don't yet have the benefit of hindsight. As they listen to Jesus speaking at the Last Supper (John 13:1–5), they have not yet witnessed His arrest (John 18:1–3), crucifixion (John 19:18), and resurrection (John 20:19). They don't yet have the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7, 13). They certainly don't have the extensive resources which we, as modern believers, can access (Luke 1:1–4). So, when Jesus makes an obscure reference to being unseen, then seen, they are understandably confused (John 16:16–18).

Even though the disciples are debating with each other, and not Christ, He still knows exactly what they are struggling with (John 2:24–25; Luke 6:8). What Jesus explains in the next few verses doesn't fully answer their question. However, it does provide more reassurance through perspective. The gist of His response is that these difficult experiences will be relatively brief, and joy over what is gained will vastly outweigh the suffering which was required (John 16:20–22).