John 7:25-31: ”Immortal until…”

“25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, ‘Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.’28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.’30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, ‘When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?’ NIV

Someone said, ”I am immortal until all God’s will for me is accomplished.”

”At this they tried to size him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come” (30).

Jesus’ ”hour” (or ”time”) is a repeated theme in the fourth gospel. We have seen previously how He had opponents who wanted to kill Him (1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 19), and the people of Jerusalem were aware of the threat hanging over Him (25, 26). The fact of the matter is that, no, they hadn’t changed their minds about the Messiahship of Jesus. They hadn’t become kinder, softer and gentler in their approach. They had not modified their attitudes. But the Divine Hand was restraining them. Jesus could not die before the clock struck the appointed hour. There was a date written into the diary, and it could not be brought forward (or put back). It wasn’t that they didn’t try. They obviously did. But they were not permitted to succeed. Many people wanted to do away with Him, but nobody could.

This should encourage us I believe. Here are some key lessons:

  1. There is a time to die, just as there is a time to be born (Ecclesiastes 3:2)
  2. You can’t die before God’s appointed time.
  3. No amount of persecution or opposition can change this. This should help our perspective as we have to navigate increasingly (it would seem) dangerous waters in our contemporary world.
  4. No amount of animosity can prevent ”many” from believing (31). Although there was a widespread atmosphere of scepticism (as well as hostility – verse 27), there was nevertheless a great turning to Jesus. (It seems there was a prevalent Jewish belief at the time that, when the Messiah arrived, no one would know where He came from. But in fact His birthplace was foretold in the book of Micah 5:2-4. However, they didn’t truly appreciate His Heavenly origins.)

So, take heart, whatever is going on in your world. You are immortal until all God’s will for you is accomplished…and then you will find you live for ever anyway.

”The church is the only society on earth that doesn’t lose a single member by death. They just transfer to another branch!” David Pawson.

Prayer: Lord God, it gives me comfort and strength to know that my life is in your Hands.