Tuesday after Jubilate
Scripture: St. John 7:1-13 (NKJV)
7:1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.
6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.
10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?”
12 And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13 However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.
Jesus’ family assumes that He seeks renown and glory so they urge Him to go to Jerusalem openly. There all the Jews can see His miracles. Jesus refuses. “I am not yet going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” Does Jesus lie, since after His brothers have gone up to Jerusalem, He goes in secret? No. The prophet had foretold, “Nor was any deceit in His mouth” (Is. 53:9). Jesus told them that He would not yet go to the feast, nor would He go openly, for St. John writes in verse 1 that the Jews sought to kill Him. When His time had fully come, then He would go up to Jerusalem openly, riding on a donkey while “Hosannas” fill the air. When His time had fully come, then He would go to Jerusalem for all the world to see, not with miracles, but with His sufferings and death for the sins of the world.
Often we, like Jesus’ brothers, want to inform God of the appropriate time to act. We pray in impatience. Too often we proscribe the means and manner in which our Lord should grant our requests. This is more than impatience. It is a lack of faith in God because we trust ourselves more than we trust the Lord who has promised to answer prayer. Like Jesus’ brothers, too often we assume our ways are the best ways when in reality the time to grant our request has not fully come. Christ reminds us in today’s text that His ways are not our ways. His ways are perfect. He hears our prayers and answers them in His wisdom, when the time is fully come.
We pray: Heavenly Father, grant us the patience that comes from trusting You above all things. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.