Short Meditations in John 7: 6. Unique Strategy
Jn 7:6 Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.
I like the word ‘Therefore’. It is a turning-point word, a word that changes the direction. In this case it is a change of direction in respect of intentions. The brothers have been cajoling Jesus to get him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, specifically to get more fame, more followers, but Jesus won’t have anything of it. As we noted before, he is not out to gain fame but do his Father’s will. In their minds, fame is important; in Jesus’ mind it is not the currency of the kingdom – obedience is.
Now this is important because so often people get an idea in their mind of some ‘good’ act, some way that looks right, looks pious perhaps, looks spiritual and that sets their direction. But as we just suggested, ‘good ideas’ are not the currency of the kingdom. Why? Because the Father doesn’t have ‘good’ ideas, He has the best ideas, His will is perfect (Rom 12:2), and that applies to every facet of our lives.
Most people have never keyed in to this truth: God designed this world perfectly, He knows exactly how it works best, He knows exactly how we work best, and that isn’t just generally about the human race, it is specific to each of us as individuals. He knows everything there is to know about me and what is best for me, again not generally, but in every specific instance in our lives.
Now this doesn’t mean that we should be worrying about every step we take. As the Rom 12:1 & 2 verses show our approach is to hand our lives completely over to Him and not let the ideas, plans, schemes and ways of the world around us, influence us. Having handed our lives over to Him, He gave us His own Holy Spirit to indwell us and He within us inspires, guides and leads us. The most we can seek to do is learn to be sensitive to Him and let Him lead, trusting that if we get it wrong, He still loves us and is still there for us.
So now we see Jesus encapsulating his strategy in a simple statement: “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do.” The Living Bible makes a significant emphasis: “It is not the right time for me to go now. But you can go anytime and it will make no difference,” and Message version adds, “This isn’t my time. It’s your time—it’s always your time; you have nothing to lose.” i.e. I am working to a program, you aren’t! You can go and do what you want anytime and it won’t matter, but I am working according to a divine timetable and it is important I work according to that. It is important, therefore, that I listen to the Father and let Him guide and direct me, for then what I do will have significance and bear fruit that heaven wants me to bear.