Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.” John 7:6
Chapter seven of John’s Gospel opens with a curious round between Jesus and his brothers. John noted that these brothers did not believe in Jesus, yet they challenged Jesus to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths and openly declare himself. In this, they acted like the rest of the unbelieving world. “Show us a sign. Prove yourself to us.” Jesus declined, though later he not only went to Jerusalem, but also taught openly in the Temple.
When Jesus refused his brothers’ challenge, he made the statement that his time had not yet come. Before he finished speaking to them, he stated this claim a second time saying, “my time has not yet fully come.” (7:8). He told his brothers that their time was present or always here. Put another way, his brothers were at home in an unbelieving world. Because they offered no challenge, they feared no conflict. Jesus, however, stirred conflict wherever he went for he witnessed against the world’s rebellion against its creator.
Two of the great characteristics of God that pour out of the Scriptures are his holiness and his love. God is who he is in all times and all places. You don’t get his love without his holiness. You don’t get his holiness without his love. But the human mind does foolish stuff without God. People convince themselves of many things that aren’t so, the main one being that they are right.
But even the invisible God cannot be avoided forever. Now, in the person of his Son, the invisible was now visible. Paul would later write of him in Colossians 2:9, “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.” There was nothing missing of the nature of God the Father in God the Son. Therefore, unbelief and unholiness hated him. His very presence was testimony of who God is and what we have become.
Yes, they would kill him. But not yet. Not this feast, but at Passover. Not in their time, but his. Not in their way, but on a cross. In the fore-ordained time of an eternally sovereign God, they would kill him. And in killing him, there would open such a flood gate of grace and mercy and holiness and peace that the vilest sinner could be saved, cleansed, renewed, and made holy like him. I know that vile sinner by name. It is my own. I hope you know it too. He can’t be avoided forever.
Make your time his time and his time will be yours forever.
What a Savior!