Patience: one part wisdom another part waiting

At the end of the feeding of the 5,000 in Matthew 6 there is an important sentence that is easy to miss.

When Jesus saw that they were ready to force him to be their king, he slipped away into the hills by himself. [Matthew 6:15 NLT]

Timing is everything.

It is odd that Jesus didn’t want to be crowned king at this point. Isn’t that what he came to do? Didn’t he know, as well as everyone else, that his leadership would have been far better for the people than the Romans and the Jewish religious leaders? Of course and absolutely.

But the timing wasn’t right. There was more Jesus needed to do, including giving himself up to death upon a cross, before ascending to the throne from which he spends eternity. I am glad Jesus didn’t take the throne before he took the cross. For I would still be lost because sin and death would not be defeated.

Not every open door do we need to walk through immediately. Not every opportunity do we need to capitalize on quickly. Not every good instinct do we need to drop everything and do right away.

Having the wisdom to know when is just as important as knowing what to do.

That is what patience is all about. Yes, patience, that four-letter word that everyone says they don’t have. And you are right. We don’t have patience naturally. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit which consists of one part wisdom and one part the strength to wait. It is trusting God for the outcome to still be good even if the outcome may be delayed.

Published by Todd Nelson

I'm one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in Lexington, Kentucky where I've served for the past thirteen years. The sub-title of this blog is "Grace is no accident" which happens to be the defining reality of my life. God's grace (gift) is the reason we have breath in our lungs and hope in our hearts.

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