When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30 (NIV)
He clearly worked from a different clock than everyone else. Instead of Eastern Standard Time, Jesus seemed to be on Eternal Standard Time. He never arrived late and he never arrived early, he simply arrived according to his purpose.
Jesus was born at exactly the right time to be in Bethlehem with his parents, right as the stars aligned to announce the birth of Israel’s long-awaited king. When he was older, he stayed to study Scripture in the temple, even though his parents left for home.
When others thought he was late, Jesus arrived just in time to raise Lazarus from the dead. When his brothers wanted him to go with them to the Festival of Shelters, Jesus told them, “Go on to the festival. My time hasn’t yet come, and I am not going.” (John 7:8 CEV) But then, almost immediately, Jesus secretly followed them there.
The list is endless, and it teaches us how Jesus expects us to use time —
- We follow God’s timetable, not our own – Despite being bombarded with choices between good, very good, and best, Jesus stayed so closely aligned with the Father that he always made the right choice of what to do and when to do it. God’s timing means we say no to the urgent in order to stay focused on the eternal.
- We look toward eternity, not just the momentary – Jesus always had the end in mind. He knew a Day of Judgment would come and so he poured his compassion on those who were lost and those who were in sin. He knew they couldn’t see eternity, but because he could see it, he worked diligently to get their eyes off the ground and onto the things above. Even as he died, he said, in a sense, “Father, forgive them. They don’t see the end of time and so they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand who I am.” Following Jesus means we get our eyes off the petty distractions and focus on the limited time we have to tell people about Jesus.
- We believe that God is always right on time – Timing was so critical to Jesus and his mission that he even died right on time. When the Roman guards came, expecting to break his legs and hasten his death, they found Jesus already dead. It was finished, and finished in time to fulfill the prophecy that none of his bones would be broken.
- God used precision timing in the life of Jesus and his timing is just as precise in your life! Pastor, there’s that thing you’re worried about, that thing you’ve been waiting on – maybe an answer from God, or a break-through in your ministry, or enough money to cover this month’s bills.
You’ve been waiting and you’ve begun to wonder – Where is God? How much longer do I need to wait? You don’t need to wait a second longer than it takes for God to answer in his precise timing. He sees your need, but he also sees the exact time it needs to be filled.
His timetable; not ours. And while we wait, we can know our God of precision timing is working all things out for the good of – you, who loves him – because you’ve been called according to his purpose and you have been obedient to follow him into the ministry he’s gladly given you.
“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” Romans 8:31-32 (NLT)
Jon Walker’s new book, In Visible Fellowship: A Contemporary View of Bonhoeffer’s Classic Work ‘Life Together’, explains why every believer needs to be involved in a small group and why small groups put flesh on the Body of Christ. In Visible Fellowship is formatted for small group discussion.