After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" ~ Mark 1: 14–15
Who can live in the timing of God? It’s one thing to agree with God’s viewpoint intellectually; it’s quite another to express our agreement in concrete action. Jesus modeled agreement with the Father by doing God’s will in perilous times. In simple, direct language Mark’s gospel reveals that Jesus launched his ministry at the very time that the Kingdom message could get you thrown into jail.
In an atmosphere of resistance and oppression Jesus decided that the time was right to proclaim good news. Herod, a puppet-king of the powerful Roman Empire, had jailed John the Baptist because John’s preaching had threatened the status quo. Human wisdom would have suggested that Jesus keep things on the down-low until passions had cooled. You can almost hear the counsel of the worldly-wise in Jesus’ day: “Wait just a little while,” they might advise. “Let the rich and powerful turn their attention away from preachers in the countryside.”
Instead, Jesus modeled a ministry directed by the Spirit. In a world overrun by a pagan power, in a world rife with political scheming and considerations, in a world where caution was the order of the day, Jesus boldly declared that good news, the best news, was within reach. What kind of person tells suffering, mourning captives that freedom is within their reach? The source of his good news had nothing to do with the powers of the age and everything to do with the in-breaking of God’s time into their time.
It’s only natural to look for the “best time” to engage in ministry: wait until the economy is stronger; until the political climate is warmer; until the streets are safer, until your children are older, until your savings account is fatter. Wait. Jesus had a different schedule. He said simply, “The time has come.” He took into consideration only one factor: God’s Kingdom was at hand. The Kingdom of God does not wait on the future because the Kingdom is breaking into the present. God’s Kingdom was beginning to invade the kingdoms of the earth, and if God was on the move, how could Jesus remain still? It's still true today, and we are called to imitate his example. If God is on the move, how can we remain still?
Jesus is serving the best wine now because he dwells in the now. “The time has come” each day. Since Jesus inaugurated the in-breaking of the Kingdom, every day with God presents opportunities to announce and demonstrate the Kingdom of God. The only important question is whether we know what time it is.