It was a bright and beautiful spring morning with a hint of an impending heatwave. The olive trees dotting the landscape added silvery hues to the golden light. But even more spectacular was the light that was reflecting from the Temple, commanding, in all its glory, Mount Moriah to the west. As the smoke was rising from the morning sacrifices, it was captured by the sunrays and appeared to be sending them back to the heavens from whence they came. It was the 40th day of the Counting of the Omer.
The little band of hopeful students had just arrived back in Jerusalem after being with their risen Master in Galilee. There He spoke with them extensively about the Kingdom of Elohim and their calling to be fishers of men. But this day seemed different. Yeshua was not the same as He had been in the past little while. Something was in the air…
As they began their ascent toward the summit of the Mount of Olives, one of the disciples whispered over to the other, “Do you recall what He said to us a few days before Passover, words we did not understand then?” “Yes,” replied the other, “He said, 'in a little while you will not see Me, and again a little while you we will see Me, because I go the Father.'” Another disciple, half-listening into the conversation, suddenly butted in, “that’s right, the Master told us that there would come an hour in which we would remember the things He had told us.” Walking just a few paces ahead, Yeshua was smiling as He overheard their conversation.
They nearly reached the summit, when a follower of the disciples who had been within earshot, asked them to fill him in on what Yeshua had told them. All three began to respond to the inquirer at once, but two of them yielded to Yochanan (John). He then began to describe what had taken place just before the fateful day of their teacher’s arrest. Yochanan told the young man that had Yeshua not done among the people and the religious leaders the works which He had done, the latter would not have been guilty of sin; but now, after having witnessed His deeds, their response demonstrated their hatred for Him, and also for His Father. "This," Yochanan added, "happened that the word from Psalm 35:19 'they hated Me without a cause,' might be fulfilled." Continuing, Yeshua's beloved disciple proceeded to tell the young fellow that Yeshua had told them about a Helper whom He would send from the Father. “Yeshua said that this Spirit, which He called the Spirit of Truth, would come forth from the Father and that He would testify as to who Yeshua really was, and because of His presence we also, who have been with Yeshua from the beginning, would bear witness to the Truth.”
The group was still climbing and Yochanan continued breathlessly: "Yeshua further said that we would be put out of the synagogues; yes, even that a time would come that whosoever kills us will think that he is doing Elohim a favorable service. They will do all this to us because they have not known the Father, or the Messiah. Our Master told us these things so that when the time comes, we would remember His words and be ready. He did not tell us all this at first because He was with us, but now that He was going back to the One who sent Him, He wanted to warn us. Amazingly none of us had asked Him where He was going, although His words were very troublesome to us and our hearts were filled with sorrow. But then He said something very strange. He told us that His going away would be to our advantage. That did not make sense to us at all. How could that be? Who is this Helper whom He was talking about, who will not come to us unless Yeshua was to go away? Only if He departs, would He then send this Helper, and when the Helper comes He will convict the world of sin and of righteousness, and of judgment.”
Yochanan's listener was very perplexed over these words, but before he could ask, “where is Yeshua going?” they had arrived at the summit. A feeling of awe and deep reverence swept their hearts, as Yeshua turned to face them. His voice was stern and commanding when He told them not to leave Jerusalem before the Father’s promise is fulfilled. They all looked at one another, expecting someone to ask the inevitable question, “Where are you going and when will you return?” (to be continued)