The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings


-Being a science fiction nerd, I’ve loved to watch all sorts of nerdy shows and movies. One of my favorite nerdy TV shows is a British show that has been around for over 50 years called Doctor Who.
~It is the story of a renegade Time Lord, called the Doctor, who travels in his ship (called the TARDIS) that is able to traverse both time and space, and every week is an adventure of fighting monsters and saving people.
~What happens quite often, though, is that his ship either doesn’t take him to the right place, or if they get to the right place they aren’t there during the right time period that the Doctor wanted.
~This made for some funny moments in the show. But during one episode, the consciousness of his ship was stuck inside a human body. And so, now being able to talk to her in this way, the Doctor complained to her that she never took him where he wanted to go or during the right time period.
~To which the TARDIS replied:
No, but I always took you where you needed to go [when you needed to be there].
-I think that sometimes we are like the Doctor in that we think that things ought to happen how we want them to and when we want them to—we like our own timetable, or sometimes the world imposes its timetable on us—but God has His own timetable, He has His own plans, and even when our timetable doesn’t match with God’s, He will always get us where we need to go when we need to get there if we would only trust Him.
-What we find in the passage we are reading today is that there are some who are trying to force Jesus into acting before the right time. Others tried to impose their own schedule on Jesus, but Jesus faithfully followed the plans of the Father.
-Quite often either our impatience, or some outside influences, make us expect God to work a certain way at a certain time, and if He doesn’t we either get mad and frustrated, or we try to take things into our own hands, which will always lead to disaster.
-But instead of caving in to our own self-imposed time crunches or giving in to what the world would force upon us, we are to trust God’s timetable for our own lives and ministries.
-I hope we leave here today learning to wait patiently on the Lord and trust that His time is always the right time.
John 7:1–13 ESV
1 After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Booths was at hand. 3 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. 4 For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For not even his brothers believed in him. 6 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After saying this, he remained in Galilee. 10 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. 11 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?” 12 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.” 13 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.
-There are 3 lessons some of us might need to hear today about Ourselves, God, and Time:

I) Sin is a waster of time

-The passage talks about it being the time of the Jewish festival known as the FEAST OF BOOTHS or the FEAST OF TABERNACLES. During this festival the Jews would temporarily live in shelters to commemorate God’s faithfulness to Israel during the time of her wilderness wanderings.
-But we need to think about why Israel had to endure the majority of the wilderness wanderings to begin with.
-God brought Israel out of Egypt, led them across the Red Sea, brought them to Mount Sinai to give the law, and then guided them to the edge of the Promised Land that they were to conquer.
-Ready to fulfill God’s plan and their destiny, Moses sent in spies to check out the land and see how rich and wonderful it truly was. When the spies came back, they confirmed the land was prosperous, but 10 out of the 12 spies said the people were too big to conquer, so they did not go in, and were punished to 40 years of wilderness wandering. So, for 40 years they lived in booths or tabernacles or tents, but it was because of their own disobedience.
-Do you understand the implications? God said to them on the edge of the Promised Land, “NOW IS THE TIME TO FULFILL MY PROMISE”, but the Israelites refused. They disobeyed God’s timetable and lost out on the blessings that could have been theirs.
-After God pronounced the punishment of 40 years of wandering, then all of a sudden Israel decided: OK, NOW WE’LL OBEY GOD AND GO UP AND CONQUER THE LAND. Moses warned them not to do it since God said it was no longer the time to go into the land, but they tried anyway and failed. Again, they sinned against God by disobeying and many lost their lives.
-Sin cost the Israelites 40 years, and it cost many the shame of not being able to enter into the Promised Land. Wasted time and wasted lives because they chose sin over obedience. Sin will waste your time.
-When you remove yourself from God’s timetable, and you decide to take things into your own hands, it can cost you dearly.
-I think of another biblical example:
~In 1 Samuel 13, the prophet Samuel told King Saul to wait 7 days and Samuel would meet Saul and offer sacrifices to God before they go to fight the Philistines.
~On the 7th day Saul became impatient and offered the sacrifices himself. He decided to take things into his own hands and disobey God since it was unlawful for anyone but a priest to offer the sacrifice.
~Not long after he did it, Samuel appeared. After finding out how Saul sinned, God through Samuel told Saul that his kingdom would be taken from him, all because he disobeyed God to do things in his own time.
-Sin is a waster of time. And maybe some of you have experienced this. Because of sin you have missed out on sweet fellowship with God. Because of sin you have disqualified yourself from some sort of service to God. Because of sin, time with some family or friends or others has been wasted.
-Let me give you a word of encouragement, though. Our God is so gracious that, even though sin has wasted some of the time we could have had, God is ready to now utilize the time you have left for His glory, and even now God can still restore some of what has been lost if you repent and humbly come to Him.
-God in Joel 2:25 says:
I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten
-Some of the time wasted by sin can be restored in other ways, and you can have joy in the future, but you need to repent and humbly come to God.
-And if you are now in a sin that is wasting time with God or time in living for God, today is the day to stop letting that time be wasted.
-But there’s a second lesson I want to mention:

II) The world attempts to move us off God’s time

-The devil uses the world to appeal to our flesh to get us off track. The devil uses the world to move us off of God’s timetable and out of God’s plan for our lives. And sometimes it is worldly people that the devil uses, even people close to us.
-We see in our passage today that Jesus’ brothers do not believe in Him…yet. According to Matthew 13:55 Jesus had four brothers named James, Joseph, Simon, and Jude, along with several sisters.
~Jesus’ family knew He went about teaching and doing signs and wonders, and making great claims, but according to Mark 3:21 they think Jesus is mad or crazy—they think He lost His mind.
-So now that Jesus had returned to His family in Galilee, and the Feast of Booths was a required festival for Jewish men to go to the temple and attend, Jesus’ brothers start mocking Him.
~What they are saying is that since Jesus goes around trying to gain followers, what He needs to do is go to Jerusalem during the festival and made a big spectacle of Himself, and then He’d really get the followers.
-But, as it said at the beginning of the passage, the Jewish leaders were seeking to kill Him, so if He would go to make a big spectacle of Himself, He would be killed before it was time.
~No doubt, there was a time that He was going to be killed, but now was not that time. And the brothers, with their worldly minds and worldly thinking, were trying to get Jesus off of God’s timetable.
-Jesus tells them that His time had not yet come, but their time was already here—they were worldly, so their worldly thinking and worldly timetable is always at work.
-And the world is trying to get you and I off of the timetable that God has, and tries to do so in one of two way:
~The world will either try to get us to act before it is the right time, or the world will try to make us procrastinate so that the right time passes by.
-I think of Moses. He may have had an inkling that he was supposed to help save the Israelites somehow. But when he saw an Egyptian beating an Israelite, he thought he would deliver that man by killing the Egyptian. This forced him to have to flee and live in obscurity for 40 years.
~Moses was supposed to be the deliverer of the Israelites alright, but that time was not the right time. So, he acted rashly, and suffered consequences.
-Then, on the other spectrum, there have been many people whom God has called to vocational ministry, but they found different ways to ignore that call or excuse that call. Some would say that they would heed the call later, but that later never came. And then as the time of their earthly departure drew near, they had regrets for not following the call at the time the call was given.
-Just like the brothers of Jesus attempted to make Jesus do things according to their timetable, the world attempts to mold us to follow its timetable. But we must be careful not to get ahead of God or to get behind God. Just like our God is right on time in all that He does for our lives, in our obedience we join Him in His time. As the song says: IN HIS TIME, GOD MAKES ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL IN HIS TIME
-But again, if we have gotten off of God’s timetable, God is a God of grace and mercy. He can still use us and get us on a track of life for use in His kingdom. If we jumped the gun, He can put us in a place to wait until it is the right time. If we missed the first opportunity, God will make a new opportunity for us. We do not ever just throw our hands up and give up.
-I think of Moses—when he killed the Egyptian he was 40 years old. It was not time for him to deliver the Jews. So then he spent the next 40 years as a shepherd in the wilderness in obscurity. But God used that time to mold and shape him into who he needed to be. And then after those 40 years it was the right time.
-So, let’s be aware of God’s work in our lives so we do not jump ahead of Him, or fall behind Him, as the world seeks for us to do.

III) Seeking Jesus is the best use of time

-Our passage talks about the fact that there already was a buzz going on in Jerusalem. People were looking for Jesus, but obviously not all for the right reasons.
-The Jewish leaders were looking for Him in order to kill Him. Others were looking for Him in order to get healed. Some were looking for Him just to see what all the talk was about. But others were looking for Him to see if He was the long-awaited Messiah.
-I think, though, that the important thing is that people were looking for Him. Now, whether or not they accepted Him for Who He was is another story. But if you use your time to look for Jesus, He will be found by you.
-Jesus showed up in this world in God’s timetable, He lived and ministered according to God’s timetable, and He would then die and be raised in God’s timetable. And He is going to return according to God’s timetable. So that now is the time for us to seek Him with a whole heart.
-Everything God had done led to the time of Jesus’ appearance. All of history moved to the time when He would first come.
Paul said in Romans 5:6
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Paul then said in 1 Timothy 2:6
[Jesus] gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
-And so, now that He has died and is risen, the right time is right now to seek Him and receive Him and live for Him and minister in His name. Now is the time to seek and accept the Savior.
-Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:2
[God said in the prophet Isaiah], "In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
-There is no time like the present to believe in Jesus. There is no time like the present to live for Jesus. There is no time like the present to proclaim His name. There is no time like the present to seek Him with all your heart.
-Behold, now is the favorable time to seek Him. Behold, now is the time for salvation.


-God, who is outside of time, is the Lord over time, and He always has a right time for everything. He inspired Solomon to write Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Eccl. 3:1-8 ESV)
-Maybe today is the right time for salvation for you—to trust that Jesus died for your sins and rose again from the dead, and rules and reigns from heaven. During the invitation take the time to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.
-Maybe you are a Christian and you are stressed that God is not following your timetable for something going on in your life. Come to the altar and pray that God would give you grace to wait on Him—not get ahead of God, and not get behind God, but be right on time with Him.
-Or, maybe you think you’ve missed the right time for something—come to God for mercy in getting on His timetable for your life.
-Still, for others, it is now time to join a church family, and I invite you to join this church family, and we can spend our time together ministering in His name.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more