10. In action

Short Meditations in John 7:  10.  In action

Jn 7:10   However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret.

As I inferred in a previous study, we have to assume that Jesus had decided to wait where they were and not go up to Jerusalem, as his brothers had been pressurising him to do, simply because he did not want to go for the publicity, or perhaps go with them knowing they had mischievous motives, or maybe because he had not become certain of the Father’s will yet. For whichever one it was – and I tend to lean towards it being all of those three reasons – Jesus had held back while the rest left for Jerusalem, and then only went a while later without any fuss. Where the disciples are in all this we do not know.

As I have pondered on this verse, wondering whatever it can possibly say to us, I realise that perhaps it sums up something we should all take hold of: don’t try second-guessing God and never take His will for granted.

The more and more I watch what is going on around me in the Christian community, the more I wonder if that is exactly what we do – assume we know what is right, and yet missing it. Now that will happen if we fail to spend time waiting on God and we fail to learn to listen to His voice so that we can become sure of the course ahead of us.

Now there are some things that are so obvious in scripture that we don’t have to wonder about them, such as you shall not steal or you shall not commit adultery. Those sorts of things – the things specifically stated as Law are simple and obvious. Some other things are obvious in intent but may need something more in practice, such as when Jesus said, “This is my command that you love one another as I have loved you.” The rubber doesn’t hit the road on that one until we are confronted with someone for whom it is not so easy to love.

But then there are the things that Scripture doesn’t speak about and so we need to either be clear in our mind on our calling or need to listen to God to see what He wants. A number of years ago, moving to a new church, one of the dear ladies immediately asked me if I would take charge of the library. I declined, not because I am not servant hearted, but because I knew what I was called to do and that would be a distraction.

There have been other times when the path has not been so clear and at those times, if others are pressing you, you simply have to ask for time to find out what God wants of you. Don’t worry about appearing over spiritual, you are just setting them a good example. Don’t assume what Jesus wants to do next – with you! Let’s not rush, let’s listen to him before we act.

(We will pause up here and return tomorrow to the theme of the Church for a short while before returning here)

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