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  • Writer's pictureRick Chaffee

“My Time Has Not Yet Come”

   For the last few weeks Lois and I have been watching again the portrayal of the life of Christ in the series “The Chosen.”  Each of us find these videos both engaging as well as often emotionally compelling.  We know the stories of course from the gospel accounts and in addition this is at least the third time we have watched the three season series. And although it is true that the authors use a little imagination and literary license there is much truth that touches the heart.


   This time as I am watching I am particularly conscious of the use of the repeated phrase “My time has not yet come.” It is an expression recorded by the Apostle John with regard to either the words or the thoughts of Jesus.  The first time he said it was at the wedding in Cana when his mother asked him to do something about the lack of wine available. She apparently wanted him to miraculously provide more, but he responded “My time has not yet come” (John 2:4). His “time,” meaning the time when he would reveal himself to people as the Christ, the Son of God.  In “The Chosen” she responds, “If not now, when?”  That phrase is also used in the movie to draw attention to the approaching time of clarity when Jesus would reveal his true identity and his God-given mission.  The word “soon” is used as well, although it is frequently remarked that “soon” is a very imprecise time frame.   


   In the Gospel of John, the phrase is used several more times.  Jesus delays going up to the feast in Jerusalem although his brothers tell him it is the place to go to perform miracles for it will result in him becoming a public figure.  He said, “The right time for me has not yet come” (John 7:6).  When he eventually does go up to the feast and begins to teach the crowds about his identity as the Christ the religious leaders tried to arrest him.  “But no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come” (John 7:30).  This happens again when he was teaching in the temple, “yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come” (John 8:20).


   Clearly in these exchanges with the crowds, the religious leaders, and his disciples, he was moving ever closer to not just the indefinite “time” of soon, but to what he would clearly identify as the coming of the time.”  At the Last Supper with his disciples on Thursday of Holy Week we read, “Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father” (John 13:1).  As the meal ended “he looked toward heaven and prayed, ‘Father, the time has come’” (John 17:1).


      Perhaps I am struck with these references to timing because I too am thinking and feeling some uncertainty with regard to both what the time of retirement will bring and when it will begin.  In Christ’s first use of the phrase “My time has not yet come,” he still performed the miracle of turning water into wine.  And although I have no miracles up my sleeve, I am trying to continue to do my role until that time of revelation and of replacement arrives. I am looking forward to it with perhaps some of the same kind of mixed emotions that Jesus displayed in his journey.  He wanted to be sure his followers understood his message and that they were prepared to own their own time of ministry.  There is both a sorrow as one moves toward the end as well as an expectation, even excitement about what lies ahead.  I want that for you as you search for and settle in a new minister.  It is because Jesus knew his time and fulfilled it that we are able to say with the Psalmist, “I trust in your, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’  My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:14-15).


   See you in Worship.



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