Friday, November 14, 2014

Thoughts on Troubles and Timing

After these things Jesus was walking in Galilee, for He was unwilling to walk in Judea because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near. Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go into Judea, so that Your disciples also may see 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.” For not even His brothers were believing in Him.So Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil. Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.” Having said these things to them, He stayed in Galilee.
10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret.

Jesus had become popular. Because of his “signs,” he had developed a following. This passage talks about an interaction with his flesh and blood brothers.

It tells us “the Jews were seeking to kill Him.” Not everyone was amazed by the healings he did. He had enemies. Life was not without it’s concerns. I find the Christian life to be that way. There are worries. Concerns. Problems. Troubles. I’ve never had a group of people seeking to kill me. That has to be intense. “What if the Jews send people after me?” we might think. “How can I ever go back there again?” I have a friend in India who was beaten by a group of men opposing his Christian faith. It was nasty. Those men would stand outside near his house in the days following. An intimidation factor when he walked out the door. How do you remain calm in the face of people who really do not like you, and want to harm you?

If he was really somebody special his brothers wanted him to go to the Festival and prove it. “Show yourself to the world,” they said.

The story goes on that “not even his brothers were believing in Him.” His own flesh and blood did not believe in him. Due to our own fault or our families misunderstanding of us, it’s painful to have those close to us not believe in us. So Jesus life was not a bed of roses.

In verse 6 Jesus says, “My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.” He indicates he will not go up to the festival.

This shows there is such a thing as the timing of God. Can it be that God has timing in the events and relationships of our life? Jesus was subject to an internal commitment to God’s timing. As for his unbelieving brothers, he said “you can do what you want, when you want.” But He chose God’s timing.
He did go to the festival. When He sensed it was God’s timing.

So two lessons here for us who are Christians. One, things may not be going well. We may have enemies and doubters. Don’t give up. Secondly, seek to be aware of God’s timing in matters. Ask Him about it. There might be a good reason for waiting, - or for doing something urgently.

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Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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