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John 7:33

ESV Jesus then said, "I will be with you a little longer, and then I am going to him who sent me.
NIV Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me.
NASB Therefore Jesus said, 'For a little while longer I am going to be with you, and then I am going to Him who sent Me.
CSB Then Jesus said, "I am only with you for a short time. Then I’m going to the one who sent me.
NLT But Jesus told them, 'I will be with you only a little longer. Then I will return to the one who sent me.
KJV Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.
NKJV Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me.

What does John 7:33 mean?

Verses 33 and 34 contain a statement by Jesus which the people struggle to understand. It's possible that confusion over this remark is one reason that the men sent to arrest Him (John 7:32) will ultimately choose not to, despite the orders of the Pharisees (John 7:45). The comments in these two verses are similar to remarks Christ will make at the Last Supper (John 13:31—14:7). They are especially poignant, since Jesus is nearing the end of His public ministry. Those people listening to Him have only a limited time left to make the right choice.

Before long, Jesus will be successfully arrested, killed, and then rise from the dead. Afterwards, as promised, He will then ascend into Heaven (Acts 1:6–11), preparing for His eventual return. This statement re-emphasizes the claim that Jesus has been sent by God.

Not everyone listening believes Jesus is sent by God. However, they fully understand that Jesus claims to have been sent by God. One possible misinterpretation of this comment, for those who do not believe, is that Jesus intends to die—perhaps by suicide—to "go to him who sent me." This was not an uncommon act for ancient philosophers, and would not have shocked the crowd. If that were the case, the problems Jesus has been causing for the religious leaders would be over. This might have contributed to the failure of the Pharisees' men to arrest Jesus here (John 7:45-46).
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