"Then I am Going..."
Then Jesus said, “I shall be with you only a little while longer and then I am going to him who sent me. You will look for me then but you will never find me. You cannot come where I shall be.”
This made the Jews say to each other, “Where is he going to hide himself so that we cannot find him? Surely he’s not going to our refugees among the Greeks to teach Greeks? What does he mean when he says, ‘You will look for me and you will never find me’ and ‘You cannot come where I shall be’?” John 7:33-36
Six chapters from now, sitting at the Last Suppertable after standing up from washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus will reflect back upon these words – “Where I am going, you cannot follow” – but in the context of the Cross – what He then calls “the glory of the Son of Man.” Here, however, He is speaking of the Ascension – “then I am going to him who sent me.” As He will then be sitting back on His throne at the right hand of the Father, “[they] will look for [Him] but [they] will never find [Him]. [They] cannot come where [He] will be…”
But the greatest glory of the Ascension isn’t just Jesus sitting in remote celestial thronerooms, it’s His supernatural ability, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to actually make His dwelling in us. He’s bodily living in you right now: do you know it? Imagine the crowd’s surprise if, in light of His coming indwelling, He had honestly answered these questions they were posing to each other…
1) “Where is going to hide himself so that we cannot find him?” – I picture Jesus, with a grin, pointing over at Peter, James, John and the rest of the disciples and saying, “Oh, I’m thinking right inside them seems like a pretty good plan...”
2) “Surely he’s not going to our refugees among the Greeks to teach Greeks?” – To which Jesus might’ve replied, “Just wait till you see next Pentecost!” From Acts 2: “Then those who welcomed his message were baptized, and on that day alone about three thousand souls were added to the number of disciples.” And where were they from? “There [were] Parthians, Medes and Elamites; there [were] men whose homes [were] in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Africa near Cyrene, as well as visitors from Rome! There [were] Jews and proselytes, men from Crete and men from Arabia, yet [they could] all hear [the Apostles] speaking of the magnificence of God in their native language.”
3) “What does he mean when he says, ‘You will look for me and you will never find me’ and ‘You cannot come where I shall be’?” – To which He might’ve said, “Are you even remotely prepared for what I'm about to say? ‘When that day comes, [my followers] will realize that I am in my Father, that [they] are in me, and I am in [them]’ (John 14). ‘It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful’ (John 15). You see, ‘the Christ [they’ll] have to deal with is not a weak person outside [them], but a tremendous power inside [them]’ (2 Corinthians 13). ‘And [their] life [will] not [be] that of the old “I,” but the living Christ within [them]’ (Galatians 2). [They will be] ‘ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within [them]’ (Philippians 4). ‘So [their] love for [me will grow] more and more, filling [them] with complete confidence for the day when [I] shall judge all men – for [they will] realize that [their] life in this world is actually [my] life lived in [them] (1 John 4).’”
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