John 7:1-10 – “My Time Has Not Yet Come”

HourglassWhen his brothers encourage him to go up to Jerusalem, Jesus initially refuses their request because “his time has not yet come.” However, he does eventually go to Jerusalem in secret. His apparent refusal leads to some textual variation, since it is clear that Jesus says one thing and does another. One way to explain this is that Jesus said that he would not go now, but he would go later, separate from the family.

Carson, for example, tries to explain that when Jesus says “my time has not yet come,” he means that his time for leaving for the Feast has not yet come. D. A. Carson thinks the next line (“you can go anytime but I cannot”) means Jesus is simply thinking about when he was leaving for the Feast. This is possible, since the point of the rest of the chapter is to argue that Jesus does not act unless the Father directs him. Perhaps this simply means the Father directed Jesus to leave a few days later than his brothers.

It is also likely this is another example of Jesus initially refusing a request but eventually granting the request. In John 2, Jesus appears to refuse Mary’s request to “do something” about the wine. Just as Mary’s request was on an earthly level and Jesus’s answer was on the higher, messianic level, so too here with his brothers. They are thinking solely of Jesus’s status as a religious leader (“Go to Jerusalem where those sorts of people hang out”), Jesus is thinking about his real mission to die on the cross at the next Passover. Nicodemus and the woman at the well also mix up the earthly and the spiritual, except in those cases Jesus says something spiritual and they take it as earthly.

The timing of Jesus’s death is to be at the Passover, not the Feast of Tabernacles. If he appears there at the beginning of the Feast, there may be a unintentional “triumphal entry.” is actions would therefore be seen as messianic and probably develop into a riot!

The Feast of the Tabernacles is a week-long celebration of the Wilderness period (usually in late September or October, 15-21 Tishri, see Lev 23:34). In A.D. 32, the feast was celebrated Sept 10-17, the Fest of Dedication is two months later. Tabernacles is an 8 day pilgrimage in September or October at the end of the grape harvest. This is a season when many farmers were praying for rain. By the first century, there were daily processions from the pool of Siloam to the temple to the pour out libations on the altar. The courts of the temple were lit by huge torches, thus we have a combination of the themes of water and light that Jesus uses for the teaching sections.

The Feast of the Tabernacles celebrated the time Israel spent in the wilderness and their entry into the lead of Canaan. Just as Passover celebrated the birth of the nation in the Exodus, Tabernacles celebrated the nation’s pristine years in the wilderness, where they learned the name of God, received his Law, where they rebelled against him but also experienced his grace and forgiveness. The wilderness period culminated in the Conquest, Joshua’s entry into the Land of Canaan and the expulsion of Canaanites from the Land promised to Abraham and his decedents.

In the prophets, the Exile was described as a long time in the wilderness. Israel was once again facing the punishment of God because of their covenant of unfaithfulness. The Fest o the Tabernacles naturally stirred the nation’s hope for a new Joshua who would begin another Conquest of the Land promised to Abraham. That Jesus is the same name as Joshua ought to not be ignored, since Jesus will draw attention to himself as a messianic figure during a Feast dedicated to a remembrance of that first Joshua and the end of the exile in the wilderness. The crowds think Jesus is the one who will end the long Exile of Israel, now under Roman rule.

The appointed time Jesus is looking forward to is his crucifixion, resurrection, and glorification.

18 thoughts on “John 7:1-10 – “My Time Has Not Yet Come”

  1. I believe Jesus said this because His time has not come.. not even as of today. He will fulfill all feasts and fulfilled the first 4 during His first visit. I believe He didn’t attend “as normal” because He would eventually return and fulfill the fall feasts at His physical second coming starting with the Feast of Trumpets.

    J

  2. Jesus “time” had literally NOT come yet. He said this several times to different people during the latter part of His time on earth. He knew the prophecies – Daniel 9 tells when the exact time of His death was to be – and He would not do anything to hasten or delay it. The time prophecy pointing to the coming of the Messiah begins with “the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem”. This was given in 457 BC. Using the day for a year principle as God has done in other time prophecies, add 7 “weeks” (=49 years) then 62 “weeks” (=434 years) and you come to the exact date Jesus was baptised. There was one week left for the house of Israel, to make the 70th week. In the middle of that last week of the seventy “weeks”, Messiah the Prince was to be “cut off, but not for Himself”. “He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”. Three and a half years after His baptism, Jesus was crucified. When He breathed His last on the cross, the huge curtain dividing the temple was torn from top to bottom, signifying the end of the sacrificial system. God had provided the Lamb for the ultimate sacrifice, as Abraham had once prophesied. The antitype had been fulfilled by the Type. The passover Lamb had been slain for our sins and there was no more need for daily sacrificies.

    • And by chapter 13 Jesus says that his hour has in fact come, this is a theme throughout John 13-18. Seems to me to over-complicate things to use the 70 Week passage to explain John 7, Jesus is simply saying that it is not time for him to be crucified, but it will be by the time of Passover in John 13. I am not sure that Jesus was calculating out the days, it simply has to be at Passover (that year? The next?)

      Although you are certainly correct that Daniel is predicting when the Messiah will be “cut off” – seems to me to be talking at the crucifixion.

  3. There are many good points about why Jesus’ time has not yet come. I believe it is because God tells him what to do, but also the fact that he wanted to go separate of his family and the people he is close with. Jesus probably has this sense of timing because he is also God, but he can choose what specific choices to make then, right? This is true, but everything he does has a purpose and that purpose usually reveals something about himself. So because it is not yet his time, it is because he is waiting to reveal something greater of himself. Part of this was to come later when no one was with him. Maybe it was because he felt he would be deceived by people he loves since in fact he already knew that there was at least one of his own who would betray him. Kostenberger explains that “thus the pattern of rejection is complete:…his native Galilee…Judea…Jewry as a whole…own family,” (Kostenberger, 90). He felt not ready to go into Judea because he has already faced this rejection and knew the biggest rejection was coming when Judas betrays their relationship with a kiss (6:71). So, it seems that Jesus’ time has not yet come because he faces this feeling of rejection and knows the right time when to do things to reveal qualities and wonders about himself.

  4. There are a lot of good ideas of what Jesus means when he says that his time has not yet come, but it seems that the beginning of chapter seven explains his meaning right there. In verse one, it says that Jesus would not go back to Judea because the Jews were trying to kill him. We know now that Jesus was supposed to die as seen in passages like Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and Philippians 2:6-8. So for Jesus to say that his time had not yet come was to say that it wasn’t his time to die yet. Kostenberger seems to agree with this line of thought saying, “Jesus stays away from Judea, ministering in Galilee instead, because the Jews in Judea are waiting to take his life. Jesus’s life thus evidences a keen sense of timing – something neither his mother nor his brothers understood,” (Kostenberger, 90). The timing of Jesus dying was to be during Passover to show people that he was 1. the Passover lamb that was to be slain for the sins of the people and 2. the deliverer for the people out of their bondage of sin, going back to Exodus and the delivery of the Israelites. Also quickly addressing the second half of verse six, Jesus says to his brothers that “their time is always here”. This refers, I believe, to Jesus’s brothers not understanding that Jesus’s life and death were timed, so to speak. He is saying to them that their minds are set on earthly things while his mind is on the things of God and the plan that he is fulfilling. Perhaps, this is what brings up the different perspectives of what Jesus means with “my time has not yet come” because people are looking at a more worldly perspective of scripture and miss the spiritual meaning right before their eyes.

  5. I love how Jesus does not give into the peer pressure of His brothers. His own family wanted Him to reveal Himself to the world. My guess would be that Jesus’ brothers have a hidden agenda of why they are trying to get Jesus to reveal Himself.
    I admire how much Jesus is in tune with the Father’s voice.
    Jesus listens to the Father always and waits for the Father’s timing.
    He is directed only by the Father and we should do the same.
    I do not know why the Father did not want Jesus to reveal Himself. Maybe it was that the Father had other things for Jesus to still do in secret. He wanted to teach Jesus more things about His heart. The Father saw that Jesus’ earthly brothers had an agenda. He knew that the Romans would then arrest Him because of Jesus’ revealing. Or it was simply the Father protecting His son.

    This story has come up a lot in the past couple months for me.
    Holy Spirit has been teaching me to follow the Father’s voice alone and not to give into the other voices around me.
    Whether that is the enemies or even other sheep that think that they are telling me the right thing to do.
    We all need to follow God with hearts and ears that are turned to Him.
    When other voices come in, we can take though words, thoughts and emotions to the Father,
    so that He may fill us up with His Truth and direction.

  6. In all honesty, this passage never stood out to me in a significant way. However, with the understanding of Jesus’ response, there is much more significance to John 7:1-10. In verses 3-4, it is mentioned that Jesus’ brothers tell him to leave and go into Judea, but Jesus refused. Comparatively, in John 2, Mary tells Jesus to remedy the lack-of-wine situation, and Jesus once again refuses. It is not only that Jesus refuses these requests, but He dismisses them with “my time has not yet come” (v. 6). P. Long says in this blog post that one reason for this could be that Jesus waits for direction from His Heavenly Father, rather than his brothers or mother. Long also mentions in this blog post that Jesus has a spiritual message in mind while the witnesses/audience has an earthly understanding to the things He says. I think that both of these reasonings have resonance, specifically in the idea that they correlate. Jesus waits for direction from God at the same time that He dismisses the requests of the people around Him, which causes them to have an earthly understanding of His ministry and response. As I first read this passage, I read it as it not being Jesus’ time to be crucified yet. While this is true, and this may be one thing that Jesus meant by “my time has not yet come”, there were definitely more specific, meaningful reasons to dismissing his brothers’ request.

  7. This passage has always interested me. John 7:1-10 shows another example of Jesus actually refusing to do a task that is asked of Him. This makes sense to me. Jesus only does what is listed by the Father, as should we all. He responds to His brother’s request with “my time has not yet come” (verse 6). He shows His purpose by refusing to fulfill His brother’s requests. I loved how P. Long brought this reference back to John 2 where Jesus again shows his purpose by refusing a task. This task was given by His mother of all people. Jesus initially refused to fix the wine problem, but just as He eventually went into Jerusalem, he filled the bottles of wine. I would like to propose an idea. Maybe the filling of the wine could be likened to the crucifixion. Bare with me for a moment, because what I am trying to say is just as the wine was good enough, so was the crucifixion. Jesus paid it all for our sins and he out did the sacrificial system by sacrificing His perfect self for all of us. This is vaguely the same as the wine because the wine Jesus made is better than the new wine that was already spent at the party.
    I hope you enjoyed my idea. If this is wrong entirely please let me know.

  8. Dang, obviously I cannot speak for Jesus, but I wonder if he ever got frustrated as time after time, people took him as earthly rather than spiritual. At the same time, he knew that this was his reality for his time on earth. Still, 7:5 says “For even his own brothers did not believe him”. How sad and also frustrating this would be. At the same time, I appreciate how this post mentioned that Jesus’ time to move was simply based on his Father’s instructions. Talk about patient obedience! Moving on, knowing that Jesus still showed up and went to Jerusalem, it is obvious that had to be extra careful of his actions. As it mentions in this post, Jesus’ appearance would definitely cause a riot and an unneeded scene. Jesus knew when his time of crucifixion was, and he made sure to be careful with his public appearances until then. I still wonder, how did Jesus feel as his own brothers did not support him? Not only in this case, but throughout the gospels as we read of multiple times where people did not believe Jesus – furthermore, those who denied him. Looking at the bigger picture, this must’ve felt so lonely! Jesus knew when his time would come, and in the meantime, I’m sure he felt so alone as he got closer to his time and as more people denied him. Sorry if this strayed from the main point of the blog post, but this passage really emphasized the character of Jesus to me. He knew what it was like to feel alone and denied, yet he stayed obedient to his Father and held strong to the knowledge of his timing and his purpose.

  9. The idea that Jesus has a plan that is not of this earth, one in which the disciples will not understand the reasoning behind it. When the disciple request of Jesus that they precede to Jerusalem he states, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here” (John 7:6). The time that Jesus is referring to most likely foreshadowing to the crucifixion. The comment that the disciples can go because there is not constraint on their timeline. The time for Jesus to face the judgement and persecution from the Jews is not yet. Everything that Jesus does is because it is part of the Father’s plan for salvation. Even though Jesus crowds tells his disciples he will not go the feast he does later go to the feast in quiet. He avoids the crowds to preserve the timeline of coinciding with the Passover and the general pursuit of providing a way to eternal life. The disciples wanted Jesus to be around the people that understood his religious teachings and in which they believed Jesus would be supported. However, when Jesus is present the Jews, they do not agree on whether Jesus is leading the people astray. The disciples were wrong on their predictions on how the people would respond to Jesus presence at the feast.

  10. How interesting is it that our human minds are always so stuck on the worldly matter of things, much like Jesus’ brothers asking him to go to Jerusalem, even though his time had not yet come. Mary, Jesus’ mother, had a similar, earthly request, when the wedding in Cana ran out of wine. Long states, “It is also likely this is another example of Jesus initially refusing a request but eventually granting the request. In John 2, Jesus appears to refuse Mary’s request to “do something” about the wine. Just as Mary’s request was on an earthly level and Jesus’s answer was on the higher, messianic level, so too here with his brothers.” (para 3). Jesus declared to his brothers that “my time has not yet come,” which makes sense in the context of the different celebrations occurring during that time of year. As Long mentions, if Jesus were to appear as the Christ during the feast of the Tabernacles, he would be seen as more of a “hero” figure, or a “knight in shining armor,” rather than a humble servant of God who was the manifested Christ, meant to reveal himself during Passover. Sometimes, it can be hard to grasp the timing of God and things that are heavenly, rather than earthly. Colossians 3:2 states, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (ESV). Human minds automatically default to earthly matters, but as Christians, we need to make that intentional effort to set our minds on heavenly things.

  11. I really enjoyed diving into “my time has not yet come”. It just shows how much Jesus is a perfect. His followers want Jesus to go then and there, but Jesus was letting his followers no that he can’t and it isn’t his time. I totally agree with the blog post that Jesus is listening to the Heavenly father, and not just listening to others because they think it is right. Jesus is not refusing because he doesn’t want to do these things, but because the father has not directed him to that just yet. This is a great lesson because there are times in life where it just isn’t our time. The time that we want something to happen may not be the time that God wants it to happen. We may often try to find a solution through someone else, and they are pushing us to go and get our situation fixed, but is that what the holy spirit guiding us to do. That’s what makes Jesus so unique and perfect, he comes to earth and is able to follow the directions of the father with no problem. He is able to beat temptation with no problem and he follows directions of the father and he was not persuaded by anyone else. He did everything in the time that it was supposed to be done.

  12. Reading through this article I am struct with the question why? Why did Jesus not do the miracle for Mary right away and why didn’t He go to the feast with His brothers. My initial thought , if this were anyone else, would be that they are lazy. Although, this is Jesus so, there must to be a real reason to why He appears to hesitant these situations. I cannot help but wonder if Jesus was waiting for God’s timing and not mans. Each of these situations could have turned out completely different if He would have done the miracle right away or went to the feast in the beginning. Even a second of different timing could have changed the whole situation. But it seems to me as if Jesus was waiting and listening for God to say “now” or “it is time”.

    The blog is leaves us with a thought on “The appointed time” for Jesus. But I do think that it is extremely important to contemplate. God has perfect timing for everything and Jesus, being God and the Son of God, is in line with Him. In 7:28 Jesus says “But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true”.(ESV) Jesus referring to God clearly states that He came on the accord of God. I cannot help but think of Luke 2 when he says, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” Jesus was constantly listening to the Father and about His business. Christ lived a life that feared the Lord. Reading the blog above I still have the question why but I feel like I can infer that Jesus had a understanding of God’s timing and did all things according to that.

  13. For some unknown reason, this response of Jesus does not surprise me. I don’t know what God or Jesus was thinking during this period. Or do I know what the plan was? I do know that Jesus always has a purpose when he takes action and that he doesn’t just do anything because he can. There’s always a higher purpose, plan, and vision behind what he does. Jesus knew what the outcome would be if he did go as it says the Jews were seeking to kill him. Kostenberger tends to agree and say similar things.

    There are some interesting things as to why Jesus would say these words. “My time has not yet come” I feel that this could mean numerous things. There are most likely many resources that you can look at and say different things. I think it’s good that we don’t get caught with the reasoning. But we can look at what we can learn from Jesus through this action? How can we apply what we learn to ourselves?

  14. I was always intrigued when Jesus said, “My time has not yet come”. I wondered why He would say that and then eventually go to Jerusalem. It makes sense to me what Carson thinks that this line means. Like Carson says, He may have not been able to leave the feast for a little while longer, even though others could. I think that it is important to read on since we see Jesus talk about how the Father directs Him. It seems to me that He might not have been able to leave yet because of what God told Him. This does also remind me of how Jesus talked to Mary when she wanted more wine at the wedding in Cana. Even though Jesus seems to refuse this at first, He later turns the water into wine and performs the miracle. I think that both of these stories are pretty interesting to read, especially when wanting to learn more about Jesus. It is good to read these and do research to try and find out more about what Jesus did on earth during His ministry. I think this story is interesting and I would like to do more research on it in order to find out even more.

  15. I think it’s really cool that Jesus did not give in to the peer pressure of his brothers. His brothers wanted Jesus to go and Jesus didn’t listen because Jesus only listens to the Father which makes sense. Jesus said “My time has not come yet” and for anyone to try and fully understand why it wasn’t His time right then and there would be impossible. I believe that Jesus was listening to God and since Jesus is with God he also knew that it wasn’t His time. Jesus knew the prophecy of His death and He knew when it was going to happen. I love how Jesus listens to His father’s voice, it’s amazing and I think we should all try and do the same. Often times I feel like we start listening to other people or politics or stuff in the world that we shouldn’t focus on. This is just a great reminder that we need to start listening and focus on what God is trying to tell us. Overall I think the reason why Jesus said “My time has not come yet” and did not give in to peer pressure Is that he was listening to God and God knew that it wasn’t Jesus’s time.

  16. In John 7 the Feast of Booths was at hand. Jesus’ brothers tell Him to go to Judea for the festival so that His disciples can see the works you are doing. In verse 5 it says, “For not even His brothers believed in Him.” This makes me think that Jesus’ brothers “encouraged” Him to go to Judea in a mocking/sarcastic tone. Jesus tells them “My time has not yet come” and tells them to go to the festival without Him. However, after His brothers left for the festival in Judea Jesus headed there in secret. There are a couple of theories as to why Jesus said that His time had not come and that He was not going but still went to the festival in secret, alone. One theory is that Jesus meant that His time had not come to leave for the festival. Jesus also says “but your time is always here” to His brothers. It is suggested that this might simply mean that Jesus was just thinking/talking about the time that He was going to head towards Judea for the festival. “This is possible, since the point of the rest of the chapter is to argue that Jesus does not act unless the Father directs Him. Perhaps this simple means the Father directed Jesus to leave a few days later than His brothers” (Long). Jesus also had a history of refusing requests but then granting the requests later on. One other example of this may be John 2. “Just as Mary’s request was on an earthly level and Jesus’ answer was on the higher, messianic level, so too here with His brothers” (Long). I think that Jesus meant that it was not His time to go to the festival yet but also that it was not yet His time to die on the cross for our sins. “If He appears there at the beginning of the Feast, there may be an unintentional ‘triumphal entry.’ His actions would therefore be seen as messianic and probably develop into a riot!” (Long). It is also possible that His actions may have resulted in His persecution and death which would have not been His time.

  17. I can imagine Jesus’ “My time has not yet come” have several people overthink what He really means. I think it is entirely possible that Jesus was answering no now, and yes later. Really similar to how He answers prayers now saying not yet like when He waited two days to heal Lazarus (John 11:5-7). But in this case I think He most likely meant “time” is the “time of the crucifixion, resurrection, and glorification” (Long, 88). Even though the brothers never knew He meant for His death but to actually not go to the city of Jerusalem itself. I imagine that Jesus says this in such a wise, all-knowing voice, but it just flew right over the heads of the brothers.

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