Kids Talk About God
What can we learn from Jesus about timing (John 7:1-13)?
By Carey Kinsloving
“You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go,” said Yogi Berra.
In life, everyone wants to hit home runs. It’s the lack of timing that causes so many strike outs.
Mark Twain once wrote, “I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.”
In Jesus, we learn that God’s timing is like hitting that home run without swinging hard. During his ministry, so many people tried to pull and push him in so many directions. Through it all, he stayed focused on hearing his Father’s voice and concentrated on his mission. That mission would result in his loving sacrifice on a cruel cross in which Jesus poured out his life to pay for our sins.
“We can learn by remembering the Garden of Gethsemane, when God said it was time for Jesus to sacrifice himself for our sins to be washed away,” says Benjamin, 10.
We have to remember that Jesus knew everything that would happen to him when Judas and the soldiers came for him in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:4). Yet, he stepped forward because he knew this was God the Father’s timing for him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
“In everyday life, God has perfect timing for even the smallest things,” says Emily, 12. “That’s why we should always trust in the Lord because he has a perfect time for everyone.”
Jesus’ entire life can be viewed through the lens of timing. Let’s start with his birth. Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem because of a decree from Caesar Augustus that said everyone should register for taxation. Because Israel’s land distribution was tied to tribal origin, Joseph and Mary from the tribe of Judah traveled to Bethlehem located in their ancestral land of Judea.
Surely, Joseph and Mary knew the prophecy from the prophet Micah that predicted that the Jewish messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). They must have been amazed that a decree for registration from a Roman Caesar perfectly coincided with the birth of the Christ child.
A list of Scriptures dealing with timing in Jesus’ childhood and ministry are many. Here are a couple of more notable ones: An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to depart for Egypt to avoid the murderous decree from King Herod (Matthew 2:13). Herod ordered the murder of all Bethlehem children two years and younger (Matthew 2:16-18). After the inquiry from the wise men, King Herod decided to eliminate a future rival.
When Jesus’ brothers urged him to go to Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles to “show yourself to the world,” Jesus said, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready” (John 7:4 & 6). Jesus knew that his brothers didn’t believe in him. That’s why he told them that their time was always ready. In other words, they needed to believe in him as their savior. Also, Jesus knew some of Jerusalem’s religious Jews wanted to kill him.
Think about this: “The common man prays, ‘I want a cookie right now!’ And God responds, ‘If you’d listen to what I say, tomorrow it will bring you 100 cookies,’” wrote Criss Jami.
Memorize this truth: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Ask this question: Can you trust God and his timing for life’s small stuff?