Lent: Action and Authenticity

"No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do." John 7:4,6

Photo: Kate Chikina, unsplash.com

Photo: Kate Chikina, unsplash.com

(Re John 7: 1-13) Often my actions arise from a fear of lack, of being thwarted or superseded. In this passage Jesus is represented as acting out of a deeper, more authentic motivation.

The place and time of divine truth

I like that Jesus says he’s not going to the festival, but once his brothers have gone, makes his own way there in secret. They wanted Jesus to take up a role, to have a position in society, to join the competition for property, rights and place, which is where they, like most of us most of the time, thought was the place you had to be in order to prove yourself. That is not Jesus’ intention in this passage. He does go to the festival, but he goes in his own way, in his own time. This is not mere stubbornness, though it must have been both perplexing and beguiling. It speaks of someone whose place in the world is neither given to him, nor taken away, by others. Both renown and notoriety were waiting for Jesus, but he did not come when they called. His time is not money-time or fame-time or age-and-wisdom time, but the time of divine truth, which moves through itself and cannot be contained within our stipulated need for things to happen in a certain order or in a certain way.   

Stephen Wood