Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also.
The "little while" doubtless refers to the very short time which was to elapse before Jesus' removal from the view of men. Thenceforth, he taught, the world should lose sight of him, but he should be plainly apprehended by the gaze of faith.
I. UPON CHRIST'S DEPARTURE THE WORLD CEASED TO SEE HIM.
1. Whilst Jesus was upon earth, the unenlightened and unspiritual saw but little of him. It had been foretold that men should "see no beauty in him." "His own received him not." They saw in him a Friend of sinners, a carpenter's son, One unlearned. But they saw in him no Divine glory, for they had no spiritual eyesight with which to discern it. Some there were who wished to behold his form and features, e.g. Zacchaeus, Herod, the Greeks, etc. But generally speaking, the Jews, because there was no sign such as they desired to witness, cared not to see anything of him. In his humiliation Jesus disappointed the expectations of the carnal, and offended their prejudices.
2. After Jesus was crucified, he was not - to the apprehension of the world. Those who had seen but little of the Lord during his ministry, after his departure saw nothing of him. His enemies thought they had succeeded in altogether expelling hint from the world he came to save, and they had no further concern with him. And ever since, to the irreligious, Jesus is invisible and as it were non-existent. Perverted by prejudice and self-sufficiency, their minds are open to what interests them, but are closed against any communication with the Savior and the Lord of men.
II. WHEN CHRIST WAS HIDDEN FROM THE EYES OF THE UNSPIRITUAL, HE WAS SEEN BY HIS FRIENDS MORE CLEARLY THAN BEFORE. There were those who learned to see in Jesus after his departure more than they had seen during his residence on earth. Just as the sailor can see a distant ship which the landsman's eyes cannot discover; just as the scholar can read a difficult manuscript which is unintelligible to the unlearned; just so there were those who, during Christ's ministry of humiliation, saw him to be full of grace and truth. Lowly, penitent, devout souls recognized his authority and felt his love. And after his departure, taught and illumined by the Spirit, they beheld indeed their Friend and King. Like the blind man whose eyes Jesus opened, they saw their Benefactor, believed, and worshipped. Stephen saw him in the hour of martyrdom; Saul saw him by the way. Christians see their Lord, in all the glory of his moral attributes, in all the adaptation of his mediatorial grace, in all the authority of his world-wide rule. Christians see their Lord so as to correct their views of all beside, and especially to moderate their earthly affections by the recognition of his superior excellence. Christians see their Lord as the Guide of their present course, and as the Object of their aspiring hope. He is now discerned by the eye of faith, and this vision is the pledge and the preparation for a vision fuller, clearer, and immortal. Faith shall give place to sight. The confident expectation of the Christian is that expressed by the apostle in the simple but soul-stirring words, "We shall see him as he is." - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.