19 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’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.”
31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Thoughts: Jesus said several times "in a little while"; "a time is coming." He was trying to prepare his disciples for his crucifixion and death. But, at the same time, He was encouraging them to persevere with peace into joy. He said He would give them a peace that doesn't make sense. He was also going to give them a joy that no one can take away- for it is stronger than death. We can face our crosses with peace and joy because of the hope of the resurrection.
Prayer: Give me grace, O Lord, to persevere through my crosses with your great peace and wonderful joy.
John Calvin Abridged: It was not that their sorrow would go away, but it would be swallowed up with a spiritual joy. He uses the image of a woman about to give birth to say that sorrow or pain would not only end in joy, but it had joy within it. Teh value of the joy is increased by its perpetuity- that it will not go away.