555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

318. What Did Jesus Mean by "If I Will that He Tarry till I Come"?




This passage in John 21:20, 22 is frequently misunderstood. John alone of all the disciples survived the destruction of Jerusalem and so witnessed the beginning of that series of events which belong to what are known as the "last days" of that particular age. He may thus be said to have witnessed the foundation of the kingdom in men's hearts, in a greater measure than any of his associates. The language of Jesus (in verse 22) was not a prediction, but a question in which there was, however, an assertion of his divine power to dispose of human life as he willed. It has been made the basis of a tradition which treats it mistakenly as a prophecy.