Jesus had been avoiding Jerusalem and Judea for some time after the feeding of the 5000, and the falling away of many of his “disciples” in John chapter 6. But the time of one of the great Jewish feasts, the Feast of Tabernacles was approaching, when most Jews would make their way to Jerusalem.
So Jesus’ brothers basically said to him, “Hey, you’ve been avoiding Jerusalem for a long time. If you really want to get out into the big leagues, you should go to Jerusalem. Go out. Perform some miracles. You can’t become famous if you’re hiding out here.”
But John makes it clear that this was said sarcastically, as he wrote,
For even his own brothers did not believe in him. (5)
The right time for me has not yet come; for you any time is right…You go to the Feast. I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come. (6, 8)
In short, “I’m not following your agenda. I’m not even following my own agenda. I’m following the agenda of my Father.”
So while his brother went up to Jerusalem, he stayed behind for a while longer.
Often times, people try to follow their own agenda. Or they get pressured into following another person’s agenda. But as Christians, we need to be like Jesus. Listening to the Father, and following the agenda he sets.
I think there are too many times that I miss out on what God is doing because I’m too set on my own schedule and agenda. I’ve got things to do but suddenly God brings a person in my path. Yet instead of stopping and talking to them, I just say a quick hello/good-bye, and I’m out of there. And if they don’t notice me, I won’t even do that. But even as I’m walking away, I’m wondering to myself, “Should I have stopped? Did I miss an opportunity?”
How about you? Whose agenda are you following? Are you willing to interrupt your agenda to follow the Fathers’? Or are you so set on yours, that you miss out on what God wants you to do?
Lord, forgive me for the times that I ignore your voice because I’m too set on my own agenda. Help me to do better. That as you bring people into my path, that I would be willing to take the time to be your mouth, ears, and even a helping hand to them. Give me eyes to see what you’re trying to do around me, and ears to hear your voice more clearly each day. In Jesus name, amen.