But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.” (John 12:23)
We first learn of this cryptic expression when Jesus is at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. They had run out of wine and Mary, His mother, approached Him with the problem. Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4).
Sometime later, when His brothers taunted Him about going to The Feast to make Himself known, Jesus answered, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready” (John 7:6).
And then there is the moment in Jerusalem when the leaders sought to arrest Him, but John tells us, “Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come” (John 7:30).
On yet another occasion when He was teaching openly, John writes, “These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.” (John 8:20).
And finally, as John puts it, “before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (John 13:1)
Later that evening in the Upper Room with His disciples, Jesus “lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You’” (John 17:1).
What does all this mean?
In the midst of weddings and other festive occasions, Jesus was ever mindful of the inevitable date He would have with an Old Rugged Cross, where He would fight the battle of the ages. But He was never gloomy, nor unsocial. As we follow Him through the pages of the New Testament we find a man that is warm and engaging, wise and kind, thoughtful and caring.
This temper of soul can only come from a confidence that is beyond time and space. We see in this Man a hope that is rooted in eternity. He knows where He is from, and where He is going. He knows what awaits Him, and what the outcome of His ordeal will be. And with that unshakable confidence He faces the events of each day — right up to the moment of His arrest.
And I love the boldness He displayed when the guards arrived to arrest Him. “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” (John 18:4)
Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Eccl.3:1). Jesus knew His hour. He knew His purpose, and the timing of it in God’s hands.
Do we know ours?