Today’s Reading: John 7 and Psalm 109
“For not even his brothers believed in him. Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not[c] going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.”John 7:5-8
Jesus’ brothers. His actual brothers, the naturally born sons of Mary doubted Him. James, Joseph, Judas and Simon were actually a little embarrassed of Jesus. They advised him to go back to Judea and perform some more miracles so that his disciples can see his good works for themselves. They tell him:
“For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” John 7:4-5
Of course Jesus will eventually go to Judea to perform his most significant great work-his death and resurrection. Jesus says that it is not yet his time. He hasn’t come to live out his own will, He is fulfilling the will of his Father. I often find myself asking Jesus to act on my timeline. I want him to show Himself so that everyone around me can see what salvation looks like. As we move through this holiday season, so many of us will find ourselves at the table with our brothers or sisters. We’ll have the opportunity to place the focus on Jesus, or we can surrender to the consumerism that seems to overtake this sacred time. When we head to our own feast, can pause to connect with Jesus and thank Him for who he is and how he moves in our lives? When we run through the door of the shopping mall can we publicly acknowledge our Lord by greeting the bell ringer or purchasing a coat for someone in need.
In the United States, we have the privilege of teaching, preaching and worshiping publically with little fear of persecution…but are we too embarrassed of our Jesus? Even as we call ourselves his brothers or sisters, do we shy away from proclaiming His glory? I’m working on this within myself. I love the things of this world. I sometimes look to beautiful things to fill me up rather than relying on Jesus. As we prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, I’m praying that each of us can be a witness to the coming of our Lord. For unto us a child is born. Lord help us to teach our children to rejoice in you and only you. May we be strengthened and emboldened by your Spirit to be our true gift of salvation.