“My Time is Not Yet…” Some Reflections on John 7:2-6

     While driving down some winding mountain roads in the Adirondacks last August with my family (I remember the clear blue sunny day well), I noticed an enormous rectangle-shaped wooden sign at the front of a Summer camp which read “Jesus is Lord”.  That was actually the name of the camp.  I mentioned to my wife that it’s amazing a man who never left the small environs of Galilee and Judea is named in every corner of the Earth.  His Lordship is even proclaimed from the top of two Cedars in the Adirondack Park (which, by the way, is no where near Palestine).

     What makes it even more remarkable is that Jesus didn’t seek such recognition for himself, at least not in the manner it was sought by the religious and political rulers of his day.  In John 7, the Jewish Feast of Booths was soon to take place.  His brothers offered him what seems like some very sensible PR advice.  They say to him in verse 3, “Depart from here, and go into Judea, that your disciples also may behold your works which you are doing.  For no one does anything in secret, when he himself seeks to be known publicly.  If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”  To put it in more modern language, “Jesus, don’t stay here.  Go into Judea during the feast when everyone, including your disciples, will be there.  Then show your power.  Everyone will see you!”  Then this comment is added at the end, “If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”  If…. a conditional statement, right after Jesus’ brothers tell him to get out there in front of the crowds and perform.  For, the text goes on to say, “…not even his brothers were believing in him.”

Why do you think that Jesus didn’t heed his brothers’ advice?  We know from the text (v. 1) that the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill him, but Jesus himself answers this question in v. 6, “My time is not yet at hand, but your time is always opportune.”  That is, “you can go to the Feast any time you wish, however I must not go up until the time appointed for me”.  The Lord isn’t operating according to what the world considers to be conventional wisdom.  His exhaltation is not the result of a campaign for glory.  It was through the valley of humiliation, through the weakness of the cradle and the cross, that Jesus obtained the crown.  He “emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men…..he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore also God highly exalted him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…(Phil. 2:7-10).

As followers of Christ, we should make faithfulness our aim.  God will exhalt those who are His in due time.  Even Jesus didn’t seek a name in this world, yet there is practically no place in it where the Son of God is not proclaimed.  Ironic, isn’t it?  And still amazing.

 

C.M. Granger