the time is now…and not yet | John 13:1
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
John 13:1 | ESV
Fast forward. But just a bit.
It’s right before the Passover feast and celebration. And Jesus knew all the pieces were in place:
He knew the time had come, the decisive hour had arrived for his departure from this world to his Abba’s waiting arms; and having poured out his love and devotion on those who were uniquely his – how he loved them to the very end! MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
Throughout part one of John’s telling of the Good News, we are served with consistent notice:
his time had not yet come.
Turn water into wine? No, my time has not yet come.
Apprehend me after the latest scandalous healing? I don’t think so – my time has not yet come.
Go up and make a big splash at Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles?
I’ll pass – my time has not yet come.
Then at the end of part one the Greeks show looking for Jesus and he announces,
“The time has come.”
And now he knows it.
We have just reached a key pivot in the story – which moves now from temple courtyards and city streets to an upper room as we witness what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse.”
More about the upper room tomorrow.
Today let’s stay focused on the when.
Jesus knew the time. And so must we. Time, like money, makes a cruel master,
but it’s a crucial servant.
“Do this (i.e. love one another), understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed,” says Paul in Romans 13:11. Knowing the time can be crucial for knowing when to buy stock or sell it, when to invest or divest, when to set out on a three-hour tour at sea and when to call it a day safe at harbor. In many ways Romans 13:11 serves as the thesis statement of part two of John’s telling of Christ. Do this, knowing the time.
What time is it?
The time is now…and not yet.Christ has come, his work is complete, the kingdom has come…but creation groans waiting for its full redemption from death and decay.
What time is it?
Our salvation has come in Christ, it’s full realization nearer with each passing day…but still not yet.
Knowing the time, Jesus knew what he now needed to do. It’s the same for us – but the first crucial question is, do we know the time? The wise man warns us in Ecclesiastes: “There’s a right time and way for everything, even though, unfortunately, we miss it for the most part.”
So it comes to us: are we tracking with the time?
What would you say is the key to “tracking with the time”? What do you find most challenging or encouraging about us being “in the now and the not yet”? Why?
Lord, help me to stay tuned to the time. Help me not to miss it; help me to see the right time and way, to see what needs to be done today in this “now and not yet” time I occupy. Through Jesus.