A Time for Everything (John 7:1-24)

There’s a good chance that a number of you reading this blog post now are reading it on an Apple iPad. Since its release in 2010 the iPad has made its way in to many people's homes, becoming a staple part of how people keep in contact, do business, read books, or play games. For those of you who don’t know what an iPad is, here’s a quote from Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple:

“What we want to do is we want to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you.”

Effectively that’s what an iPad is - a slate tablet computer that is incredibly mobile and functional. However, this quote from Steve was actually from 1983, nearly 30 years prior to the release of the iPad. And it wasn’t the iPad that Steve had in mind when giving this quote. Ten years later, in 1993, Apple released what Steve had dreamt about – The Newton MessagePad 100!!!

Now, I doubt any of you (except maybe the more geeky of you) will remember what the Newton MessagePad was, or what it looked like, and that’s because production of the machine was stopped just a few years later. At the event of the big unveiling for the Newton the Newton was shown to be a versatile piece of kit, as it was used to order a pizza by moving some topping icons on to a pie on the digital screen, which then sent out a fax to the pizza company. This was all show-stopping stuff, Pizza ordering from the palm of your hand was no laughing matter in the early 1990s, but the infrastructure just wasn’t there to support the machine. The Internet was very slow in that time – I’m sure we all remember the days of dial-up and having to wait 20 minutes to load a picture. Sadly, this meant that the MessagePad’s life was spent coughing and spluttering, as it couldn’t really get started – unlike the iPad, the world was not ready for the MessagePad; it was too ahead of it’s time.

At the beginning of John 7 we find Jesus’ brothers, James and John, propositioning Jesus to go to Judea where a feast was happening, to do some more miracles. The brothers asked Jesus to do this, not only for Jesus to make Himself known in Judea (a much greater place than the villages and hills he’d spent most of his time in so far), but also because they were still in a state of unbelief about who Jesus truly was. You see, they had known Jesus for 30 years, and he had kept His Godliness and deity under wraps until this point. Suddenly, after 30 years Jesus begins His ministry and unveils who he is by miracles amongst other things – his brothers are probably quite confused and bewildered! Jesus responds to their proposition, in verse 6, with a simple answer:

“My time has not fully come, but your time is always here. […] You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not fully come.”

The brothers were urging Jesus to go to Judea to “show off” his miraculous skills in front of as many people as possible. They were short sighted and therefore saw the present time as the opportune time for Jesus’ big unveiling to the world.  However, Jesus knew that the plan of the Father was for Him to be truly shown to be Jesus Christ the Son of God at the cross.

Much like the MessagePad, Jesus knew that the infrastructure needed to be in place before His message could really take hold and God could be glorified the most. That through 3 years of His ministry He was laying the groundwork for His death to have the true impact it needed to have. Jesus knew there was a time for everything, and at this point in John 7, it wasn’t God’s timing for His fame to become so wide.

Ecclesiastes 3 states that there is a time for every season, and a time for every matter under heaven. We too need to be honoring of God’s will, and trust that he Has the most opportune timing for the things we may be rushing Him to accomplish.