Jesus Is in Time, on Time, Every Time

We sing that chorus knowing He isn’t in time, on time, every time.

Jesus’ friend Lazarus died in Bethany when Jesus was in Jericho. Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha, sent him a message that they needed Him.

The name Lazarus has the same meaning as Eliezer in Hebrew meaning “God is my help.” His hometown, Bethany, means “house of the poor.” According to historian Josephus the region in Judea was dedicated to the ministry of mercy.

What a perfect setting for Jesus to show up … and He waited for two days after getting the news before coming. Waited two more days? This means it was four days after the death of Lazarus that Jesus came. (John 11: 17) Why the delay must have been the question haunting Mary, Martha, and others. 

Now as then there is always wisdom and love in the actions of Jesus. Jesus knew there was good reason to delay and at the time Mary and Martha didn’t. 

Have you ever been involved in such a scenario?

Jesus knew of the traditional belief of the time that after death the soul of the deceased lingered over the body three days hoping to be allowed to return therein. Not being allowed to return into the body the soul departed.

Jesus, knowing of the miracle He desired to perform, knew that if He did it after Lazarus had been dead only three days people would say it was before the spirit had left the body, giving support to the tradition. Waiting till the fourth day everyone believed Lazarus was dead, dead.

Standing at the tomb of Lazarus Jesus prayed to the Father, “I know that you always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that you sent Me.” (John 11: 42)

Then He made known His request of the Father as a command to Lazarus, “Lazarus, come forth!” and he did. 

As in this case the delays of Jesus are always based on love and knowledge. There is always a purpose in Jesus’ delay; “many believed.” (John 11: 45)

There is an interesting aside to the story. Most know the shortest verse in the Bible, “Jesus wept.” He is thus depicted as being sensitive to our needs.

BUT, Jesus showed another emotion. The NKJ reads “Jesus groaned in His spirit” (John 11: 33 & 48) A more literal translation in keeping with the times is Jesus snorted. It was a term depicting the strongest of anger. It was used to depict a horse arrayed for battle, raring on his hind legs, pawing the air, and charging into battle. Jesus wept, but He also expressed the strongest of anger. Why?

Because He saw the results of sin: death, sorrow, and weeping. He was angry at Satan who had caused this death and sorrow in the perfect world He  created. As with the horse, He charged into battle. He went to the cross and died for sin, and on the third day He arose triumphant over sin, death, and the grave. Now as then He was in time, on time, that time according to His plan. He, not we, is the time keeper in order to fulfill His knowledgeable and loving plan for us. He was, as after, in time, on time, every time, according to his plan and time. Sing it confidently.

We must set our time by His time, not His time by our time. Always do it.