Weekly Devotion – John 11:56
By Mike Caton
John 11:56, They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?”
Who are they? Is it the disciples, in verse 54? They would know where Jesus was, because he had been with them. Does it refer to the many in verse 55? That makes more sense, it is the Jews who had gone up to Jerusalem to prepare for the Passover. As you can imagine, the news about Jesus, what he was teaching, the miracles he had performed, and especially the news about Lazarus would go through the region like wildfire. And this is near the end for Jesus, he has had three years of preaching and teaching. Folks would be looking for him, whether they believed he was the Messiah or not. Everyone would want to see him.
And the Passover was a huge feast for the Jewish people. It celebrated their release from Egyptian bondage. They would talk about their history, how they were mistreated, the ten plagues on their oppressors, and about the lamb that was slain so that the death angel would pass over their houses and spare the firstborn. They would expect a religious teacher to be there, and they would want to hear what Jesus has to say, whether they believe in him or not. It was a perfect opportunity for Jesus to have a huge audience, to reach the most people. But they couldn’t figure out why he had not shown up.
Don’t we sometimes wonder why God hasn’t shown up in our lives, in our trials, in our troubles. We wonder why we are having to deal with the situations on our own. We might even think we have done all we could or should, that we have served God all these years, and now, when we need him the most, he is not there. Maybe we really need to examine our hearts, to see just how committed we really are to the Lord, are we really committed or have we just gone through the motions. But has God really abandoned us? The truth is, God is always closer than we realize. And he is always there to help us through. Many times, we really don’t want God to interfere with our lives. And often his timing is not what we think it ought to be. But make no mistake, God’s timing is always right. As Toby Mac says, never early, never late. Help is on the way! We simply need to trust God and his timing.
Father, thank you for always being there. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org.