Today, we began a new series called Shift: ReDiscover Jesus. Here's the intro to the series, in case you missed it.
The basic idea of today's message is that Jesus made some surprising moves during his life based on his keen understanding of God's timing. While he ultimately came to die, he spent three years dodging, hiding, running, withdrawing, and showing up in disguise in order to die at the right time. That may sound a little crass to you, but it's the truth. There was a time for him to face dying head on. But there was also a time for him to avoid dying.
We learned today that that purpose is intimately tied to timing, and that good timing is always God's timing. So, taking our cue from Jesus' life, we saw that we need to find out what God wants us to do, and when He wants us to do it. This can only come from an investment of time with Him. Not the obligatory 5 or 10 minutes, but real time. Time enough to develop a relationship.
In John 10, Jesus uses the word picture of sheep (us) and a gatekeeper and shepherd (Jesus). He says, "The gatekeeper opens the gate for [the sheep], and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out...I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me" (John 10:3, 14, NIV). The only way to know the voice of the Gatekeeper - to KNOW the Shepherd - is to spend time with Him.
Now, there is one interesting story that goes against the grain of what I taught today. It happens in John 2. Jesus is at a wedding and his mother informs him that they've run out of wine. He replies to her, "Why do you involve me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4). But then he acts anyway! Elsewhere, when a reference is made to the 'time not being right', Jesus acts accordingly. But in this instance, after acknowledging what appears to be the wrong time, Jesus changes the water into wine! Was he giving in? Was this favoritism towards his mother? Did he just ignore God's timing?
I think it's something else. And I'm planning on teaching about it on September 30. (Sorry...come to church and find out!) That evening, by the way, is our 10 year Anniversary Celebration. Hope you can make it to church that morning and that evening. It's going to be a LOT of fun that day! Get your 10-year celebration tickets here.