Sunday, October 17, 2010

In Accordance to God's Timing (Jn. 7:1-9)

This is my personal summary of the preaching of Rev Dr Stephen Tong on 10 October 2010 in True Way Presbyterian Church. It was preached in Chinese with English translation.

Passage: John 7:1-9

In Chapter 5, the Jews wanted to kill Jesus as He had offended them. Firstly He disobeyed the Sabbath Law. Secondly He equated Himself as God. Thirdly, He called God His Father, something the Jews would never do. In Chapter 6, Jesus disregarded whatever the Jews was plotting and He continued His ministry and fed the multitude.

In Chapter 7, Jesus wanted to filter the people who came to Him. He did not want to have too many people. The Church is the Body of Christ, holy and bought by Christ’s precious blood. Jesus’ teaching became difficult at the end of Chapter 6. He spoke about how eternal life came from eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Those looking for miracles and food left Him. Jesus wanted them to leave and even asked His 12 disciples to leave as well. But Peter said, “You have the word of eternal life, to whom shall we go?”

The church is full of selfish people who only want the loaves and fishes. Many preachers preach not the word of God, but preach with haphazard attitude. They do not correct unbiblical content only want quantitative increase. If the lifestyle of Christians is not superior to the world, how can we be light and salt? Therefore filtering is necessary. However, today if the church tries to implement church discipline, people will leave, as though only the Lord can discipline His people.

Thus was the situation with the Israelites. Who would correct the religious leaders of the day? When God sent the prophets, they killed them. God then allowed foreigners like King Herod and Pontius Pilate to rule over the Israelites. Through the prophet Isaiah God said He was sick of their sacrifices. They praised with their lips but their hearts were far away. In the same way, Jesus wanted to test His disciples. Jesus told them to go. In the Twelve, there was a betrayer.

In Chapter 7, Jesus purposely stayed away from Galilee because the Jews wanted to kill Him. It is not because He was afraid of death. If He was, He would not have come in the flesh. He came precisely to die on the cross. Jesus told His brothers that they could go at any time but His time had not yet come. There was another occasion Jesus spoke about time in this manner. When the perfume of myrrh was poured upon Him and people complained of the waste, Jesus said they could do good to the poor any time, but they did not always Him. “For you any time is right, but not for Me. You need to treasure the time when I am still with you.”

He told His brothers His time has not come. He stayed in Galilee after saying that. Yet His time came not a few days or hours later, it was only a few minutes later. Once His brothers left, He also went to Jerusalem. Jesus saw time precisely to the last moment. When the time has not come, He did not move. Once His time arrived, He proceeded. He did not hide but entered to temple court to preach. Jesus was obedient to God the Father in the midst of all difficulties and was very sensitive to God’s timing.

If God’s guidance came and we do not move, we will miss the opportunities. Do not fall behind the plan and timetable of God. We may fall behind other things but should not fall behind God’s timetable. We need to learn to walk in accordance to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. True revival is when we walk in sync with the Holy Spirit. Let us move steadily in line with the Spirit.


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