Then the leaders tried to arrest him; but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. Many among the crowds at the Temple believed in him. “After all,” they said, “would you expect the Messiah to do more miraculous signs than this man has done?”
Read: Proverbs 22:17 – 24:34
Relate: I found out the hard way that I am allergic to raccoons. Way back in the summer between my sixth and seventh grade school years, our family lived on a campground for a couple months after selling one house and before we could move into the new house we had purchased. At the time I had four siblings and while they, and my parents lived in our camper, I avoided the crowding by living in a tent. I loved it. At least, I loved it most of the time.
One morning in leaving my “house” I forgot to zip up the front flap. One of our neighbors, Mr Raccoon, decided to take advantage of this hospitality, entered my tent, and took a nap inside my warm comfy sleeping bag for a few hours. At the time I was completely unaware of his intrusion and I obliviously went to pack it in for the night. My allergies didn’t quite like the fact that I had shared my sleeping bag and my asthma that night was as bad as it has ever been. I started in that tent but after a while I came into the camper and just laid down on the floor there as everybody else had already gone to sleep. Every breath was a battle and I still remember laying on that floor and saying, “God, if this is what You have for me, why not just let me die?”
React: We have the assurance from scripture that we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses but we have one who has been tried in every way just as we are, yet was without sin. That doesn’t necessarily mean Jesus experienced asthma, or cancer, or leukemia, or whatever our sickness or disease might be, but He did get sick. Even more, the feelings and emotions and underlying hurt that I was going through on that lonely night, He is familiar with. As a boy growing up in Nazareth, as an adult being misquoted and misunderstood, and probably during a bout or two with sickness, Jesus probably did ask His Father if He could go home yet. We do know for a fact that He did pray a very similar prayer while in the garden. “If at all possible, let this cup pass from me.” In my junior high way, that is what I was praying too. “This suffering is too much.” The Father did not answer either of our prayers the way we would like. Our time had not yet come.
What are you going through? Is there a sickness or disease that is debilitating your body that for some reason God has chosen not to heal? Is there a storm in your relationships or your workplace that just seems too much to handle? Are there those in authority who hate you, don’t believe you, and in general just seem to be out to get you? Jesus has been there. He knows what you are going through and He is deeply concerned for you. Even as you lift up your prayer, “God let this cup pass from me.” He is responding, “Your hour has not come yet.” There is more for you to do. Carry on. For you will reap your harvest if you do not give up.
God, sometimes I wonder what You are doing. Sometimes I wonder why I must continue on the path You have set for my feet. The road gets bumpy, the storms begin to rage, and I wonder where You are. Sometimes all I want to do is just lay down and die. I want to throw in the towel. But my hour has not yet come. There is still more ahead. There is still more for me to do. Help me to remember the mountaintops when I am walking through these valleys. Help me to carry on when my feet grow weary. Until my time has come, help me to continue to faithfully follow You.