How did Jesus understand the spiritual interplay between the eternal and temporal realms of time? Was he able to make clear distinctions between the greater government of eternality, and the lesser government of the human clock? We cannot know for certain, yet John’s gospel suggests that he had full knowledge of both realms. Over and over again John tells us Jesus claimed a sense of ownership regarding time. Jesus said, “MY hour.”
The measurement of time was front and center in the ancient world. Calendars had not yet been perfected. No agreement had been reached regarding whose cultural calendar should be trusted. Early calculations, of the positions of distant constellations, had just begun to open up the possibility of longer measurements of time, called “ages.” In the midst of the ancient timekeeping efforts, the writer of Ecclesiastes 3:11 said:
“God has made everything beautiful for its time. God has also placed in our minds a sense of eternity; we look back on the past and ponder over the future, yet we cannot understand the doings of God.”
Unlike any other creature, humanity measures time with eternity set in our hearts. We desire an awareness of the finite, while simultaneously imagining, but not fully grasping, the infinite. We live as eternal souls in temporal bodies. With practice, we could live with the truth that every measured second of temporal time belongs to eternity. But this truth too often escapes our attention.
The Timekeeping Images of Jesus’ Day:
Coinciding with the desire to measure time, humanity entered into a spiritual realm, unknown by any other creature, in the prehistoric garden. Thousands of years before Christ, four spiritual personas were introduced to the human mind. These attributes were not definable at the time. Eventually, the spiritual personas took on the allegorical image of a serpent in Genesis 3. Craftier than all of the wild beasts God had created, temporal time crept into the early garden, as silently as a snake slithers through fresh green grass, without so much as a rustle. With it came the following:
1. a lesser spiritual government, known as the ancient serpent, the devil, or Satan.
2. an inaudible voice that converses with the human mind.
3. an assumed authority that demands allegiance through restraint and constriction.
4. an image with lines, numbers, and a face.
Anthropologically speaking, humanity would not have sensed the serpent’s presence, until the desire to measure time entered human consciousness. Even then, the spiritual nature of the personas would have been confined to the deeper recesses, of the subconscious, as the timekeeping puzzle was calculated. The spiritual effects of timekeeping only became knowable as humanity matured. Unable to articulate the ways and habits of the four spiritual personas, these unexplainable entities simply entered sacred story as a serpent, or the devil, or the satan.
While Jesus would have experienced the lesser government, its voice, and its assumed authority, inside his mind—a greater government, voice, and authority, controlled his perception of time’s passage. He was not about to let a lesser spiritual government subvert his earthly mission. Quite the opposite. Jesus came to overthrow the ancient serpent’s powerful grip inside the human mind. He had no intention of listening to any voice, other than God’s eternal voice. He refused to knuckle under to the authority of an inferior dominating system.
Lastly, Jesus rejected all allegiance to, or worship of, timekeeping images. After all, such worship pays homage to the movement of shadows, which are wholly dependent on a blockage of light. Just because the gnomon on the sundial ruled the world, a moving shadow of darkness was not going to rule Jesus. The sole purpose of the gnomon is to block light. Jesus came to reveal light.
My Hour Has Not Yet Come, John 2:3-4:
Evidence of Jesus’ staunch resistance came early in his ministry, while attending a wedding in Cana. Jesus quickly pointed out to his mother that his hour was at his command, according to his discretion, and by his will.
When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
The quantity of wine did not match the speed at which people consumed it. Hence, the lesser spiritual government was busy escalating tensions over the quantity of wine, versus the quantity of time. Simultaneously, the 24-hour clock ticked out its demand for additional rounds of refills. The designated time for celebration, by cultural standards and social expectations, had not yet ended. Only after claiming his dominion over the temporal dilemma, did Jesus agree to assist.
Hence, the miracle that change water to wine, was performed in Jesus’ time, thereby rejecting any notion that a lesser spiritual government controlled his actions. In the gospel of John, this initial distinction, between Jesus’ awareness of the voice of temporal time, and the voice of God’s eternal government, set the tone for Jesus’ ministry from that moment forward.
To continue see, “My Hour” Part II