God’s Will and God’s Ways

John 7:10-13 (NIV)

 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”
12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”
Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.

One of the questions I have about the first part of John 7 is why Jesus said that He wasn’t going to go to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem and then went secretly to the feast.  John 7:8 (NIV) says:

You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.

While some Greek manuscripts translated it as, “not yet,” that’s not what the best manuscripts said. Did Jesus lie to His brothers about not going to the feast? He did not. He said that He would not go to the feast because His time had not yet fully come. God the Father did lead Him to go to the feast with His family as was the custom. Instead, God the Father directed Jesus to remain in Galilee until later when He could go to Jerusalem in secret instead of publicly.
Why did Jesus sneak into Jerusalem? Again, the time was not right for Him to be crucified. Under the Father’s direction, He had to remain in secret. He wasn’t afraid of the Jewish leaders. Jesus knew what was coming – the cross. The time wasn’t quite right just yet. The day would come when Jesus would reveal Himself and would face the Jewish leaders and go the cross to suffer and die. This was not the right time and that is the focus of the passage.
We would do well to remember that God’s timing is not always our timing. God’s ways are not our ways. We want our will to be done in our lives and in the lives of others. Jesus’ brothers wanted Jesus to hurry up and do what He had to do. God’s timing was, and still is, best. So let us trust the Father to do His will in HIS timing and rest in knowing that His will and His ways are best.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. Thank You for His willingness to go to the cross to suffer and die for my sins. I rejoice in the salvation You have given to me by Your grace through Your Son. I pray that You will help me to remember today that Your will and Your ways are best. Help me to wait upon You to do Your will in Your timing. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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