Jesus is trying to help them, not scare them. There are a lot of voices around us, many possible directions, and a swirling confusion of thoughts. We try to understand our circumstances, make sense of life as we see it, and find something worth believing in. Not only that, but life is just too doggone difficult, filled with hardships, trouble, suffering, and both people and circumstances making a mess of our expectations and goals. Sometimes it looks like the universe is just laughing behind our backs. Jesus is a voice of light cutting through the noise.
It’s even worse when people perpetrate evil and suffering in the name of God and religion. It gives us all the creeps, but God takes a hit for it too. People turn away from God by the multitudes when fakers in religious garb swing a battle axe in His name. “OK, everybody, just drink the Kool-Aid. It will please God SOOOOO much…” Nauseating.
Jesus is trying to warn them, not scare them. “I’m going to be killed and go back to God the Father. It will be really hard for you to understand and cope with. But I’ll be honest with you: this is a good thing. It will enable the Holy Spirit to come and live inside of you. The upshot is not that I will be absent, but that I’ll be more present than ever. You’ll see. The Spirit, who is also God as I am, will let you know what you’re doing wrong, when you’re doing right, and how to tell the difference. You can trust him. Real truth and real knowledge come through Him, through God.”
“And when I’m gone from you,” Jesus continued, “don’t worry. I’ll be back.”