“I will come again” John 14:3 (KJV)
When I was a preschooler a cousin of mine developed spinal meningitis. He and his family lived in Nova Scotia and my mother travelled down there on the train to be with her sister and nephew at a critical time. Clyde was a strapping young fellow about 14 years old but 6 feet tall. Everyone loved him at school and in the neighbourhood. However back then penicillin had only recently been discovered and put into public use. Sadly it was too late for my cousin as the infection spread to his brain and after a number of weeks he went to be with Jesus.
During the time my mother was away from me I was put into the care of a family friend. She was a kindly lady with a young daughter and boyfriend who took me places and gave me lots of treats so I would not be too lonely. Occasionally my father would come to see me. I would look for his 1930 blue Buick to come down the lane and run out to meet my Dad. Each time, as soon as I saw him, I would ask him the same question. “When is Mom coming home?” My father was a self confident man but I am sure that constant question from his son put a dint in his ego. He never complained but patiently answered my question as far as he knew the details.
The person(s) most important to us are the ones we wish to see and be with the most. This was the dilemma of the disciples when Jesus told them He was leaving. They loved Him, learned much from Him, left their careers to follow Him, and they believed He was sent from heaven by the Father. Never had they seen or been near such a remarkable Person. He was indeed their treasure and the thought of losing Him was too much. Jesus had just told them to settle down and then tells them how to do it.
In John 14:3 Jesus assures them of His return when things were all prepared for them. They needed to believe that He would come again to be with them. This was the point Jesus was trying to make clear so they could be at peace with His departure. He would come back for them. They were to understand that they were foremost in His mind at all times.
During the weeks my mother was away from me I never doubted that she would return to me. The issue was simply a matter of when that would happen and the sooner the better. The disciples needed not only to believe that Jesus would return but to use that information to comfort themselves.
Starting in the late 1800’s various people have tried to pinpoint the exact time when Jesus would return. All these prophecies have not been fulfilled and life goes on as before. When we read the Gospels there are many places where Jesus says that no one knows the day or hour of His return including; Matthew 24:44; 25:13; Mark 13:32; Luke 12:40. It is not important to know the time of Jesus’ return but it is supremely important to be ready and looking for it.
In Luke 12:40 Jesus said, “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (NIV). Here Jesus clearly says that His own followers will find the second coming unexpected. Therefore He calls on us to be constantly ready.
Can you find comfort in your sorrow thinking upon the coming of Jesus at some unknown time in the future? Can you put your hope in this reality and not in the things of this life? Here is where the crunch comes for many of us. All of our hope is in this life and what we can accomplish in it. The true believer in Jesus is lifting their eyes above this life to the one to come. There all the wrongs will be made right, there the child of God will know freedom from all the physical limitations, suffering, pain and tears this life has for us.
Jesus calls on His people to remember He is coming back and we shall be with Him forever. Do you have this hope? You may if you turn to the One who came to save sinners and restore them into His likeness forever.
As a small child I wanted to know when. Jesus tells us to forget the “when” and rest on the fact that He is coming and be comforted. He calls us to Himself today in order that we may enjoy Him forever. Come to Him and come now.