Friday, June 10, 2011

Perfect Timing

Today's passage:  John 2
     Early on in Christ's ministry, He was a bit secretive.  He did miracles, but did not proclaim who He was.  He performed the miracle at Cana, turning water into wine, but only a select few knew He had done this.  The governor did not know, I'm not even sure the groom himself knew.  The servants who had drawn the water knew.  The disciples knew.  Mary, His mother, knew.  I'm guessing that in the coming days, everyone would soon find out. The servants would have told their wives.  The wives would have told friends.  The servants undoubtedly told the wedding party at some point.  But why didn't Jesus spread the news right then?
Jesus Turning Water into Wine--Taken from The Children's Friend
By Mrs. Adelaide Bee Evans
Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1911, 1928
     After Jesus cleans out the Temple, he performs other miracles in Jerusalem.  But He still does not tell them He is the Son of God.  "But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men.  And needed not that any should testify of man:  for he knew what was in man."  These are the last two verses of chapter two.  God had a very precise timeline.  Because He knows us, and knows what is in our hearts, He knew when to reveal Himself to us. Perhaps He was allowing the Holy Spirit to work, to challenge minds and open hearts, before He made His announcement.  Perhaps He was easing the people into the idea that God was again dealing with them.  God had not dealt directly with his people for hundreds of years.  Why is there such a gap between the Old and New Testaments?  Maybe because God had quit working with His people for a while.  We have a lot of historical information to fill in that gap in time, but nothing that God wanted us to know from His part.  It is a silent four hundred years. 
     It may not sound like a long period of time, but if you think about four hundred years from 2011, the United States would not even be a country for another 200 years.  What was happening in the early 17th century?  The King James Bible had just been written.  Europe was entrenched in expansionism starting colonies (Jamestown, Quebec, Plymouth) in the New World.  Galileo was making discoveries.  The Taj Mahal was being completed.  Our world has changed so much in that time.  Wouldn't the world have changed quite a lot between Malachi and Matthew?  Mindsets would have been remarkably different.  Jesus could have started His ministry and said, "Here I am!  I'm the Son of God!"  He knows us better than that.  He knew that during much of this time, there had been many who presented themselves as the Messiah.  He knew that during this time, false prophets would even perform semi-convincing miracles.  He knew that there would be skepticism and disdain for someone to claim He was God's Son.  He knows us so well! His timing is perfect.
     I think sometimes I second-guess myself.  Sometimes I say, "Oh, if only I did that sooner" or "I should have planned for that already."  God never says those things.  He always knows exactly when and what to do.  He never slips up and thinks, "I meant for that to happen earlier," or "I was a little late on that one".  I can't understand why His timing is what it is.  But that is because I can't see into hearts, He can.  He knows when our hearts and minds are ready to receive Him.  He knows the precise moment He needs to work something in my life.  He knows when to bring a new life in the world, He knows when to take an old life out of this world.  He knows when to let the doctor discover the horrid disease lurking in someone's body.  He knows when to allow a car accident (we call them accidents, but they aren't to God).  All of these things, God knows and plans, because he knows "what is in man". 
     Father God, help me not to forget that You have everything under control.  You know everything about me and everything about those around me.  You know exactly what to bring into my life and the lives of others so that we may recognize Your Sovereignty.  Help me not to question Your timeline of events, because You make no mistakes.

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