15 July 2017

John 7:1-13

“My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.” (v. 6)

Psalm: Psalm 38:10-22


They say the secret to comedy is timing - and I would suggest that it is also the secret to evangelism (or speaking of God). Sometimes the moment is right and people are ready to hear what God has to offer them, only for us to miss the moment and regret it. And at other times Christians do more harm trying to force the moment (or even their own agenda) rather than being attentive to the nudge of the Spirit if God.

Jesus' brothers weren't pushing Jesus out of malice to go to Judea. They were keen that the good Jesus was doing was shared. "Don't hide your light under a bushel, get yourself to Judea," they would have urged. However, Jesus knew that the moment wasn't right. He wasn't going to be pushed to 'perform'. Jesus knew that what was going to happen to him would have to be in God's time, not other people's.

It's hard for us to imagine how Jesus might have felt at this time. In many ways, he was riding the wave of popularity, but the murmurs that had hovered over the hill of Galilee came all the more into focus when he travels in secret to Judea.

Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything and everything has its season. The Church in the west has certainly had its season of autumn, some might say winter. Our time might always be here but assessing when the Spirit needs us to act is essential if growth is not to be stifled by the frosts of tradition or popular culture.

To Ponder

  • How do you feel knowing that as a disciple you are called to evangelism - but not knowing if the time is right?
  • How do you prepare for the right time?
  • How can you show the good things of the Church to the world - that this might serve to the glory of God?

Bible notes author

The Revd Paul Wood

Paul is a presbyter serving in the Connexional Team as Coordinator for Ministry Development. He grew up in Derbyshire and has served in Durham and Coventry.