In today’s One Year Bible reading in John 7:1-30, one concept caught my eye. It appears in verses 6, 8, and 30: Jesus’ time had not yet come.

In verses 6 and 8, Jesus’ brothers were urging Him to attend the annual Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus objected, explaining, “My time has not yet come.” Later, however, Jesus attended the Feast. When He taught in the Temple, some Jewish leaders sought to arrest Him, but verse 30 explains that no one laid a hand on Him, because His time had not yet come.

This isn’t the first time the concept that Jesus’ time had not yet come appears. John 2 records the events of the wedding that Jesus attended in Cana, when the supply of wine ran out. When Jesus’ mother informed Him of the situation, He replied that His time has not yet come. (However, He did meet the need in a miraculous way, but did so discreetly.)

I believe the same concept underlies Jesus’ commands following several of His miracles, when He told those present not to tell anyone about what He had just done. Jesus knew that the public response to such a report would interfere with His ability to carry out His mission. The time for His identity as the Messiah to be revealed widely would come later.

Jesus’ life and ministry were subject to God’s timetable. But so are ours. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that everything that happens in this world does so at the time God chooses — there is a time for this, and a time for that. Verse 11 further assures us that God has set the right time for everything.

We’ve all heard stories of how people avoided injury or death because something prevented them from being at “the wrong place at the wrong time.” We may consider such circumstances as merely coincidences, but I believe that God’s sovereignty is at work in such situations. (Of course, God’s sovereignty is also at work when (seemingly) bad things do happen to people.)
In any case, our correct response to the situation, whether seemingly good or ill, must be based on God’s character. He is sovereign, good, holy, just, loving, all-knowing, all-powerful, and always present everywhere. Whatever He brings into our lives is designed for our good and His glory.

And His sovereign timing is always right.

by Darrel Eppler, Chairman of the Elder Board

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