John 7:30 ~ “So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because HIS HOUR HAD NOT YET COME.”
John 8:20 ~ “These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because HIS HOUR HAD NOT YET COME.”
John 6:15 ~ “So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.” Why? Because the hour of His Kingship has not yet come.
It is awesome to me to read and discern the relationship Jesus had with the Father. He trusted God’s lead and understood the path before Him. He knew God’s timing to be perfect, and He worked in that understanding without fear.
He did not fear when those who were jealous of Him and those who did not understand God’s plan for Him threatened His life, for He knew His death and the way of it was set by God for a purpose of His own. Though He did not needlessly put Himself in harm’s way, He faced His accusers with assurance of God’s sovereignty, and He saw their intention as God’s leading to move on from there to the next assignment, going on not spurred by fear of their threat, but by understanding that there was more yet to accomplish.
He also was not tempted by the desire of those who wanted to make Him the King they were waiting for because they recognized His greatness. He knew that the Father was working a greater plan to grow the Kingdom by saving grace found in His sacrifice before the Father’s desire for Him to be King would come to fruition.
I have a friend that I call a modern day Paul who has caught this heart of Christ and lives it. Missionary to an area unfriendly to the cause of Christ, he walks with faith that God will fulfill His purpose through him, just as He did through Jesus, so there is no need of fear when faith will do so well.
John 11 tells of such a time of Jesus’ faith in God. The example we see through Jesus in this chapter fits both this call to trust God in the call on our life, and it is excellent example of yesterday’s blog on the comfort we find in God because He allows us to experience the opposite end of the continuum from Him and all He is and does.
In this chapter we see that Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, has fallen deathly ill. Jesus holds off going to his aid, knowing that The Father has a greater plan to reveal His glory. When He decides it is time to go to Lazarus, His disciples caution Him about going back to the area where the leaders of the Jewish faith were ready to kill Him, but Jesus knew His time had not yet come, so trusting the Father, He went. The disciples follow with the determination of dying with Him there and then. But God had a plan to reveal His greatness through His unique method of comforting the sorrowful. We pick up the story with Mary’s encounter with the Christ.
“Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, ‘Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.’ When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ JESUS WEPT. So the Jews were saying, ‘See how He loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?’” (John 11:32-36)
The shortest verse in all of scripture, “Jesus wept.” But why did He weep? It was not weeping over Lazarus, for He knew what He was about to do. I believe Jesus wept for the great sorrow these He loved were experiencing. And He wept for the lack of faith and understanding of the greatness of God their words expressed. Still today we bring the Spirit of God to grief by our sorrows and our lack of understanding of the greatness of God. He grieves for us as we are in the process of coming into understanding the continuum of God’s power and comfort toward us.
“Jesus said, ‘Remove the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’”
I love watching Beth Moore when she teaches on this passage. She loves to use the KJV version of verse 39, and she acts it out so well. Hear Martha in these KJV words.
“…Lord, by this time he stinketh! …”. Lord, He stinketh!
Oh how we raise such a stench to the nostrils of God when we fail to understand His ways and walk with faith to believe that we will see the glory of God in our situations and circumstances. But God is so merciful that despite the stench, He will move anyway to reveal His glory.
Our daughter shared recently about a cavern of death she was experiencing because of being unable to see God moving. Her faith shot and her need greater than me, I prayed fervently to see the greatness of God move quickly to meet them at their need and to comfort the sorrow in my daughter. His move was so awesome as He quickly opened up doors that got them into a better position to carry on with the life call He has for them. God cares! He weeps over us still because of the stench this dead world can bring to us. But He moves mightily to our cry of faith in Him, revealing His glory to all who see.
“Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, ‘What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’ But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.’ Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad. So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. Therefore Jesus no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews, but went away from there to the country near the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim; and there He stayed with the disciples” ~ John 11:45-54.
God is still in the business of revealing His glory, and one main purpose in that is so that those who see may believe unto salvation. We, like Jesus, are in this life and this time for a purpose set by God. Here at the conclusion of this chapter, man thought they could not “let go on” these things that they felt would rob them of their place in society and their nation. They failed to realize that in standing against Jesus with fear of losing all, they were standing against God Himself who sent Jesus to restore them to the position God intended that we all have from the beginning. Only Caiaphas, filled with the Spirit as High priest that year, recognized the truth and spoke out of faith to believe that they would see the glory of God in the completed work of Christ.
Friend, our lives are in God’s hands. We, like Christ, can follow to serve Him with faith to believe that staves off fear and grants wise discernment to know where to go when, and what to do when there. Next post we will look at the example of Christ who said, “…the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing…” ~ John 5:16-20. Next time we will look at how this practice of Jesus is true for us as well, and how to discern what God is doing.