John 16:18

18 They said, "What does he mean by this "a little while'? We do not know what he is talking about."

John 16:18 Meaning and Commentary

John 16:18

They said therefore
One, and all of them; the inquiry became universal;

what is this that he saith, a little while?
it seems as if this phrase was the most intricate and perplexing to them; for whatever conceptions they might have of not seeing, and seeing him again, as expressive of his going from them, and returning to them, yet had no notion at all what he should mean by "a little while": and therefore add,

we cannot tell what he saith:
they knew his words, but not his meaning.

John 16:18 In-Context

16 "A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me."
17 Then some of his disciples said to one another, "What does he mean by saying to us, "A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'; and "Because I am going to the Father'?"
18 They said, "What does he mean by this "a little while'? We do not know what he is talking about."
19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, "Are you discussing among yourselves what I meant when I said, "A little while, and you will no longer see me, and again a little while, and you will see me'?
20 Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.