Object Permanence

John 16

April 13

Object permanence is a milestone babies hit when they begin to understand that an object still exists when they can’t see or hear it. When their mother leaves the room, she still exists; when their favorite toy is hidden under a blanket, it still exists, too. 

Object permanence is a skill Jesus reinforced in his disciples on their final night together, before his arrest and subsequent death. 

Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me” (John 16:16).

The disciples mourned Jesus’ death, and they rejoiced at his resurrection just three days later. Even though they could not see Jesus, he wasn’t gone forever. Just like a baby’s favorite toy hidden under a blanket, Jesus was merely out of sight for a little while. 

You and I have never seen Jesus, yet the disciples’ hope is our hope, too. We can’t see Jesus now, but we will someday—when he brings his Father’s Kingdom down to Earth. We have faith that even though we cannot see him, he is real and he is working. After all, faith is the certainty of the things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). 

Although we’ve never seen Jesus, we can see the impact of his life all over our own lives—the freedom of forgiveness, peace in unfathomable situations, victory over temptation and sin. 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). 

We have the same hope as the disciples. We can’t see Jesus now, but we will soon. 

Jesus is coming soon. 

We will see Jesus face to face. 

-Mackenzie McClain

Discussion Questions: 

  1. Even though you’ve never seen Jesus, have you seen evidence of his existence in your life? How so? 
  2. How would you live your life differently if you were constantly reminded of Jesus’ coming return? 

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