“After this, Jesus went around in Galilee, purposely staying away from Judea because the Jews there were waiting to take his life. But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him. Therefore Jesus told them, “The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil. You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” Having said this, he stayed in Galilee. However, after his brothers had left for the Feast, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. Now at the Feast the Jews were watching for him and asking, “Where is that man?” Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews. Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. ” (John 7:1–14)
“Lord, give me patience. And give it to me now.”
Sound familiar? How easy it is for us to wrongly assume that God should operate on our terms. That somehow we know what is best for us and if He would just cooperate, everything would turn out to be OK.
This was the opinion of Jesus’ brothers who try to convince Jesus that it would be best for Him to go to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles in order to make a public demonstration of His amazing miracles. It seemed to be a reasonable suggestion for someone who needed to “show himself to the world”.
But why would Jesus’ brothers want Him to make a public display? Did they understand the significance of who Jesus was and what He came to accomplish?
The scripture answers that for us and tells us that they “did not believe in Him”. Therefore, the motivation of the brothers was not that of humble worship. They were out for personal gain. If Jesus puts on a show in front of huge crowds, he becomes a public spectacle. We’re talking “rock star” status here. And if I am his brother, I am one degree away from instant stardom. Lights! Camera! Action!
Yet notice how Jesus responds. “The right time for Me has not yet come; for you any time is right.”
How easy it is to follow Jesus on our terms. When we want something to happen, any time is right. Jesus becomes our “Genie in a bottle” and if we rub the lamp, He will grant us wishes of miraculous proportion.
But the humbling reality of this attitude is that it reveals a heart of selfish unbelief. For if we knew and understood that Jesus was God, then it would seem foolish to instruct the all knowing, all powerful, creator of the universe in what He should do in our lives. We would be the first to confess as Job did, ““You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. ” (Job 42:3, NIV)
A true heart of belief is one that rests in the hands of a sovereign God. Oh, we may pray for a miracle because we know He is capable. But we humbly submit to His timing and trust in His promise to work all things for good for those who love God. Rest in His promises and trust in His timing.