“It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father.”
“Father, the time has come.”
In the second half of John’s Gospel has a simple little refrain which crops up from time to time. It is that the time had come. In the first half of the Gospel there is a constant reference to the fact that Jesus’ hour had not yet come. In this second half, which some have referred to as the book of Jesus’ Hour, John points to the fact that the time had come for the passion of the Christ. It is as if John keeps forcing us to ask what time it is.
We could answer this question with a reference to chronological time. We could research and quote the specific day and year to which John is referring. Perhaps we could even focus upon the time of day to which John points as he describes the events which are taking place here.
We could approach our answer in another way by referring to the time of life that Jesus is facing. There are certain times in our lives when certain tasks are traditionally accomplished. There is a time to begin school, and to graduate from it. There is a time to start and to advance in our careers. There are times for us to have children, and for us to become grandparents. There is a time to retire, and even a time to die. So many writers refer to the seasons of our lives as a means of explaining the process we go through as we navigate through life.
We even refer to being in the right place at the right time, or if you will, the wrong place at the wrong time, as if every part of our lives is determined by chance. Jack Popjes in his book A Bonk on the Head gives an able defence of the argument that our lives are not dependant on chance when he writes the following. He is here describing the reaction he had after a workplace accident when he was quite young.
“After the manhole incident, I remember asking myself, “What does God want me to do with my life? What did He preserve me for?” For starters, I confirmed my decision to go to Bible school. That began a chain reaction of other choices and decisions: marriage, pastoral ministry, then the move to Brazil culminating in the completion of a Bible translation project for the Canela people, followed by a missions leadership ministry, and now service as a public speaker, writer, and author.
I took a bonk on the head as proof that God had something major for me to do. He did. And He confirmed that fact periodically throughout my life. I can list at least eight other occasions when, not through my own carelessness or fault, I was in extreme danger, but escaped death. Each time it happens I remember what David Livingstone wrote: “I am immortal till my work is accomplished.” (Eugene Myers Harrison, “David Livingstone: The Pathfinder of Africa,” Wholesome Words, http://www.wholesomewords.org/missions/giants/biolivingstone.html ) I take each escape as God saying, “Jack, I still have something for you to do.”” (Jack Popjes, A Bonk on the Head Wycliffe, Orlando, Fl., 2011 p. 18-19)
Popjes focuses our attention on God’s timing for our lives. In the Gospel of John we discover that there is a right time for the cross and the resurrection. These are times which are in the hands of the Living God. In the same way there is a right time for the giving of the Holy Spirit. This leads us to recognise that there is a time, a right time for salvation to come into our lives. The book of Hebrews keeps pointing out that Today is the Day of Salvation. When you hear God’s call for you to come and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ recognise that it is at that time, and perhaps at no other time that you must come and believe. Our Lord is exceedingly gracious and longsuffering as He calls us to faith. The truth is however that we have never been guaranteed another day for our coming to faith in Christ. Today is the day and the time for our salvation. Come to Him today.