John 7:1-13: The Time Has Not Yet Come
October 23, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Jesus is in Galilee, not Judea, because he knew the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill him. Sometimes it is the wise course to flee danger, to avoid persecution, and not to rush in where angels fear to tread. Zeal is good, as long as it is combined with knowledge, and sometimes circumspection and prudence is no less zealous and much wiser than fool-hearted enthusiasm.
His brothers urge Jesus to go up to Jerusalem for the feast. They argue that if he wants to be a public figure, then he cannot hide away but must show himself in public. But their argument shows that even his brothers do not believe in him. If Jesus’ being deserted by some of his disciples must have been hard, surely it was at least equally hard to find that his brothers had little, if any, faith that he knew what he was doing. Strange thought: on occasion, it is those closest to Jesus by mere familiarity and upbringing who find it hardest to trust Jesus in reality. Do not be surprised if at times those closest to you find it hardest to believe in Christ as you do.
Jesus counters his brothers’ argument by saying that his time has not yet come. The hour, the hour of Jesus’ crucifixion, is not yet here; this is why he is not showing himself in public and openly, for this would lead inevitably at this point to him being killed. But Jesus’ hour has not yet come.
Note how carefully planned is Jesus’ life; it is all scripted. Even his death, which superficially appears to be the plot of his enemies, is really the plan of Jesus himself, and will happen at the time and hour of his choosing—not theirs. Every part of our life is scripted according to his plan too, and when it seems as if we are waiting for some answer to prayer, perhaps the answer is that the hour has not yet come.
In the end, Jesus does go up to the feast. He has a message to deliver, and he will deliver it. But he does not go up publicly, openly, unguardedly. It is wise to consider not only the message we are called to deliver, but also the best means by which to deliver that message.
And at the feast it is discovered that there was muttering of diverse opinions about Jesus. The same is true today—people say that Jesus is one thing, others say he is another. But we know that he is the living Lord, the Christ, God incarnate, the One who has the words of eternal life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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