John 17:1 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed, ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you’” (NIV).

Observation: Jesus and His disciples had gathered for Passover where a long, far-ranging discussion had ensued. To each of their questions Jesus gave a full response, causing them in John 16:29–30 to remark that He was “speaking clearly and without figures of speech. . . . This makes us believe that you came from God.” In response, Jesus exalted, “You believe at last! . . . But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered (vv. 31–32, NIV).” Then, He looked toward heaven and prayed, “Father, the time has come.”

Application: Notice the focus on timing. Jesus said to the disciples, “A time is coming and has come.” He then prayed to the Father, “The time has come.” One gets the distinct feeling that a passageway has been entered through which there will be no return.

When God says, “the time has come,” every creature on earth ought to hold its breath like the stilling of birds as heavy storm clouds gather. Hearts skip a beat as we instinctively crouch in awed anticipation of what might happen next. When the God who lives outside time decrees “the time has come,” it’s a really big deal; every demon and angel, man and woman ought to fall silent waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The disciples indeed fell silent. They said not another word until Jesus finished a long prayer (John 17), then they left for His appointment with Judas and some Roman soldiers. Only the disciples heard His assertion about the time having come. The rest of the world continued as before, oblivious to history’s being demarcated at that very moment.

Now, two thousand years later, another time is soon to come, the time Jesus’s heart has longed for when God would decree that the time is now for Him to return for His bride. His heart longs for the moment when He can burst from heaven in an instant to fix forever the course of human history.

He calls me to be constantly ready for that eye-twinkling transformation when He will appear as Bridegroom, King, and Judge. In the upper room He told a mere handful that the time had come, but when the Father next determines that a new time has come, I will neither hear the pronouncement nor have a chance then to get the affairs of my heart in order. He will simply, astonishingly, appear, ready to claim His own.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, bring me today into full alignment with Your purposes for my life. Cause me to live each moment as though the time of Your return might be now.