Wednesday, July 10, 2013

UNTIL THE APPOINTED TIME

Jesus came, made some friends and influenced people, but He sure stirred the pot while He was here too!  He had people wanting to make Him king on one side (Jn. 6:14-15).  He had people/Priests trying to kill Him on the other (Jn.7:30; Jn. 7:44; Jn. 8:59; Jn. 9:22; Jn. 10:31; Jn.10:39; Jn. 11:53).  Then right in the middle Jesus confirms the turbulence when He says,
  • "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn " 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-- a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.' "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-38)
However, in the midst of all this upheaval there was complete control.  As referenced above, many people tried to cut Christ's ministry and life short because of the threat of loss to their place as priests and nation (Jn. 11:48).  But to borrow and manipulate a common-day phrase - No-one laid a finger on His Butterfinger!  

Here are some verses that mention Father God's control and timing in the life of Jesus.  And knowing that The Plan worked out and timed out perfectly for Jesus, how much more will God take care of His kids - His true Christ followers.

  • "At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come." (Jn. 7:30)
  • "Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him." (Jn. 7:43-44)
  • "At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds." (Jn. 8:59)
  • "His parents [the blind man's parents] said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue." (Jn. 9:22)
  • "Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him," (Jn. 10:31)
  • "Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp." (Jn. 10:39)
  • "So from that day on they plotted to take his life." (Jn. 11:53)
The other side wanted Jesus alive, but seated as King and they were willing to forcibly make Him so.
  • "After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world." Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself." (Jn. 6:14-15)
Jesus addressed both concerns.  To the ones wanting to make Him King or know when that time shall come, Jesus said,
  • "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8)

To the one's trying to kill Him, He said,
  • "I lay down my life--only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father." (John 10:17-18)
With Jesus being one with God the Father (Jn. 10:30), Jesus was in control.
 
With Jesus victorious over death, hell, and the grave Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18).  Jesus is in control.
 
With Jesus promising to come again and manifest the restoration and redemption of all things that He paid for with His blood, the Scripture says - God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11).   Jesus will be in control.

I challenge you as well as myself to not panic when our life and the world seems out of control.  Observing that God's Plan happened just as He planned it for Jesus, I choose to believe in His sovereignty for my life - that He has me in this world for His purpose(s) Until The Appointed Time.