It had to be a strange occurrence. The disciples walk with Jesus for three years, and they increasingly believe that He will be the One to save Israel. They anticipate His kingdom and the position that they will hold in it. They look forward to the day when they no longer will be under a foreign government. They prepare their triumph and look forward to being with the Victor.
And then Jesus tells them He will be leaving.
Although He had talked of this before, never had it been so clear. He tells them of the trials that they will endure for His sake, He once again reminds them that He won’t be there, and He acknowledges their sorrow at the thought. Then, He says the thing that surprises them the most. He tells them it is actually to their benefit for Him to leave. That when He departs, they will receive a Helper and that Helper will be working to bring others to Him (John 16:1-11).
It must have blown their minds.
To think that His leaving could be to their advantage.
To think that without Him, the Good News would go to the ends of the Earth.
To think that His departure would result in His glory.
It didn’t make sense.
Yet, it was just as Christ said.
And as things in our own life don’t make sense, as we wonder how God can turn something that looks so bad into something that can be used for our benefit, may we be reminded of this conversation with His disciples. May we be reminded that what brought them the greatest blessing was also the cause of their greatest sorrow. May we remember that when their expectations failed to be realized, God was doing something greater. May we remember that what felt like abandonment was to their advantage.