Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sometimes it's about Timing

Is there a wrong time to do the right thing?

Apparently so.

In Luke 9:18-21 Jesus is having a conversation with his disciples about his identity.

He asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?"

They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."

"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Peter answered, "The Christ (or Messiah) of God."

Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.


Do NOT tell people who you are?!

Think about that for a moment. The Church spends a significant amount of time, energy, and talent to make sure people KNOW who Jesus is.

We have outreach, evangelism, and mission programs around the world to tell people who Jesus is.

Look at the Nicene Creed or the Apostle's Creed. Most of each statement is spent on describing who Jesus is.

We ask children to learn this confession of faith early on.

We repeat it over and over as adults. ("Who is Jesus?" "He's the Son of God.")

We state that it is THE dividing line between Christianity and other religions.

So why would Jesus "strictly warn them not to tell this to anyone"?

Part of the answer is the misconception about what it meant to be "the Christ (or Messiah)". The following verses show Jesus defining it. "The Son of Man must suffer many killed and on the third day be raised to life."

The Messiah would not initiate the Kingdom by conquering, but by suffering. This was a misconception held by many.

Part of the reason Jesus told them to stay quiet was timing.

In the Acts of the Apostles, the second of Luke's books that are part of our scripture, we see story after story of Jesus' followers being sent out to tell the story and reveal who Jesus is.

But in Luke 9, the time wasn't right.

I confess that in my life, finding the right timing is often the most difficult part of a situation.

Knowing when to speak to a person and when to be silent.

Knowing when to act and when to be still.

Knowing when to SHOUT and when to whisper.

Knowing when to run and when to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n.

We can know WHAT to do.

We can even know HOW to do it.

But if we don't know WHEN, if we don't pick the right time, we may be wasting our energy and God's set-up of people and circumstances.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Look back at your own life. Are there things you did at the wrong time?

Look at your life right now. Are there places where you know what to do and how to do it, but you need God's direction about WHEN?

May God give us His sense of timing.

Grace & peace

No comments: