“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
Jesus said that He would come again and receive the disciples to Himself. He went on to discuss many other things with THEM about prayer, the intermediate ministry of the Holy Spirit and the gift of peace. He gave THEM the parable of the vine and told them that THEY would be hated by the world.
He foretold His rejection and the sorrow which would come upon THEM as the result. Then He assured THEM that THEIR sorrow would be turned to joy upon His return. The disciples were confused about His saying that He would go away and return to them in a "little while." Then He said to THEM,
19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’? 20 Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. 21 A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
25 “These things I have spoken to you in FIGURATIVE language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly from the Father.
There it is! In verse 25 Jesus said that He had been speaking to them figuratively
about His return. This is solified by the fact that after He returns THEY may ask anything in His name and THEY will receive it. "And in that day you will inquire nothing of me. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you petition the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have petitioned nothing in My name."
Jesus explicitly said that His coming would be "figurative." His follow up statement about their petitioning Him "in that day" CLEARLY infers that His return would indeed be figurative and that THEY would continue to have an earthly ministry afterwards