I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father (John 16:28).
Jesus here reminds his disciples of his great mission, of the stupendous undertaking that he agreed to fulfil. He voluntarily came forth from the Father into the world. This short phrase contains fullness of meaning.
It describes a journey of descent through his incarnation, his humiliation, when he became a human. It contrasts his eternal abode he had enjoyed with the temporary residence he experienced on earth. The humiliation was not only connected to another location, but it also included living in a sinful world.
It describes a journey of danger as he came into the world to rescue those whom the triune God loved from eternity and upon whom they wanted to bestow great blessings. From his birth onwards, he was the object of attack by demonic powers. The most dangerous part of the journey was jet to happen, when he would suffer on the cross at the hand of his Father when he paid the penalty for sin.
It was a journey of delights as he met and interacted with some of the people he had come to save. We often think of the joy that Andrew, Peter and the other disciples had when they met Jesus and received forgiveness for their sins. But we should also think of the joy of Christ as he met them and brought them into his kingdom. We get insights into his joy when we read John 4 and reflect on his discussion with the woman of Samaria.
It also describes a journey with a destiny because he was now about to leave the world and go to the Father. He had almost finished the work the Father had given him to do and he was anticipating the great reward that lay ahead of him in the Father’s presence when he returned to the Father’s house.