Short Meditations in John 7: 44. Frustration
Jn 7:44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
When you look at the world and try to capture the ‘big picture’, there is a strange mix of the sovereignty of God and the grace of God that gives mankind freedom. When you look for this in the Gospels you see this strange thing, that there is this mix between Jesus allowing us to do our own things but when it comes to mankind raising their hands against him, we are so often thwarted. Thus far and no further, seems to be the divine strategy, that allows us to go just so far but not so far that we would thwart the bigger plans of God.
Now we know retrospectively that Jesus will, at some point ahead of this time, submit himself to the authorities, allowing them to come at night to arrest him, then give him an illegal trial and then have him executed on a cross but there are two things, it seems, that means that this declared intention of the authorities to have him killed, is held back.
The first, it seems to me, is that he has, presumably according to the plan of the Godhead, determined that it needed three years to reveal sufficient of his Father’s love and to prepare a band of followers who would continue after him. That is point one. But point two is that in accordance with allegorical prophecy, he wants his death to occur at Passover, so that in the future anyone with eyes to see, would realize he was sacrificing himself as the lamb of God to save whoever would come from the destroying angel of judgment who would pass over every life. That is the second reason why Jesus did not want the authorities to take him and kill him at just any old time. It had to be Passover.
And so we come to another one of these strange moments where the will of sinful man wants to rise up against him – but it just doesn’t happen. We have to wait a few verses to see the logic of the guards sent from the Temple but the outcome is the same – nothing happens.
Now I think, as I try to get a bigger sense of the plans and purposes of God, that this little verse should bring us great encouragement. Stuff goes on in life and the world appears to get especially atheistic and I and a number of others wonder about the future existence of the church, but this verse reminds us that however stroppy modern materialistic, humanistic and atheistic man gets, at the end of the day it is going to be the will of Almighty God that will prevail. Yes, He may use the sinfulness of mankind (see Acts 2:23) for those purposes but His purposes will prevail and He will not allow mankind to progress those plans faster that he has already decided. Pray your heart out but remain in peace: HE is in control.