Time for the Right Time
John 7:1-10 (New Century Version)
After this, Jesus traveled around Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because some evil people there wanted to kill him. 2 It was time for the Feast of Shelters. 3 So Jesus' brothers said to him, "You should leave here and go to Judea so your followers there can see the miracles you do. 4 Anyone who wants to be well known does not hide what he does. If you are doing these things, show yourself to the world." 5 (Even Jesus' brothers did not believe in him.)
Jesus was so unlike most leaders I know. In the chapter prior to this verse He feeds 5,000 people, healed all who were sick, walks across water and as a result gathers the biggest following to date. In our day, most leaders in Jesus’ position would have done a complete analysis of the metrics, made sure their ‘disciples’ handed out welcome cards, captured email addresses and explained online giving while encouraging the attendees to bring a friend to the next lakeside gathering! But not Jesus. He exits stage left and simply heads home. While at home he gets confronted by his brothers, jealous of His popularity, telling Jesus that in order to be great you’ve got to get back out there and go global. Advertise big they tell Him. Media, social media, and every opportunity to advance and be seen by the public.
6 Jesus said to his brothers, "The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I tell it the evil things it does. 8 So you go to the feast. I will not go yet to this feast, because the right time for me has not yet come." 9 After saying this, Jesus stayed in Galilee.
For Jesus to respond like this tells me something. Jesus knew who He was and He understood timing. Jesus could have easily gone to the feast with his brothers and for a short while have been the center of attention. So why not? He had everything going for Him and a crowd to back Him up. Instead He waited. He actually waited long enough for his brothers to leave before He left. But when Jesus got there, scripture says He hid out for at least half of that feast. Why? Because in knowing who He was, He knew what He didn’t need – the praise of men.
6 Jesus said to his brothers, "The right time for me has not yet come, but any time is right for you.
When we’re looking to build our name, franchise or popularity we often fall prey to the thinking, “There’s no time like the present!” We discover what the influential people are doing and not only mimic them but try and do it better. It means we fight to stay ahead of the trend. We compare ourselves to others and then mentally compete to be better. We find ourselves striving for the best, to have the best and oftentimes dress the best. We live to have it now. Jesus said it best. When we’re focused on ourselves it makes perfect sense that any time is right. But when we choose to follow the Lord, we choose to do things His way and on His timetable. Success gets redefined. Character steps up and forces us to dig deep and exercise patience. Sometimes that means hiding out for awhile and side stepping the public eye. Other times it means getting out of bed one more day to face the same routine. It doesn’t mean our ‘time’ won’t come. It just means the right time has not YET come.