In this chapter, as with the previous ones, Jesus operates with a tremendous awareness of timing. He continues to stress, “My time has not yet come.” This prompts an awareness of God’s timing in our own lives. Sometimes we pray and we wonder where God might be. We wonder why He doesn’t answer our prayer, at least in the time we feel would be best. Jesus’ attitude helps strengthen our resolve to trust in God’s timing in all things.
v7 – Jesus indicates that His prophetic ministry is putting Him at odds with the world. “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.” As we’ll read next week in ch15, Jesus will commission His disciples to carry out this same truth-speaking ministry of bold proclamation. But He is also honest with these followers: as the world treats Jesus, so too will it treat us. We’ll discuss that more fully next week. But I appreciate the fact that Jesus doesn’t sugar coat things. He wants His disciples to know that the worldly powers are opposed to His ministry and these same forces will oppose any who claim to follow in His steps.
v24 – “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.” Jesus also identifies the source of His teaching ministry: God. The crowds are flocking to Jesus as a miracle-worker, a healer, a provider. But Jesus pushes them deeper, to an adherence to His teaching about the Kingdom.
v25-30 – The crowds have an expectation of the Messiah, that He will appear (almost like Melchizedek) without origin. They say, “Jesus isn’t the Messiah! We know where He’s from!” But again, John winks at us as we’re seated in the audience. They THINK they know where He’s from (Nazareth), but they’re really missing the point. He’s the eternal Word, come from heaven to earth to dwell among us (ch1). So Jesus fulfills their expectation, just not in the way they thought He would.
I also love the subtle line: “At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.” Implies that Jesus was able to fend them off or thwart their efforts to take him. He’s not exactly Mr. Rogers!
I could write more, but I’ll let some others weigh in here. What were your thoughts on this chapter?