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“Then they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.”
And so the Lord began His ministry and it was not long before He ran into trouble. It happened when He healed a man with a paralysed arm on the Sabbath Day. The religious leaders were incensed and Mark 3:6 tells us, “Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.”
In some ways it seems strange that this sinless Person, who taught the people about the Kingdom of God and healed those who were sick should stir up so much opposition and criticism. But it continued throughout those three years and intensified as the time for His death on the cross drew near. And there were various attempts to do away with the Lord before He actually died for us. These were futile, of course, because the Lord was following God the Father’s eternal timetable and that could not be thwarted by the puny attempts of mere human beings.
One such time was following His message to the people in the synagogue of His home town, Nazareth. Luke 4:28-29, “So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff.” The important thing was that HIS HOUR HAD NOT YET COME.
The Jewish method of execution was stoning to death and this was the punishment for blasphemy. For this reason, when the Jewish religious hierarchy thought the Lord was guilty of blasphemy, they wanted to take the law into their own hands straight away. John records two occasions when this happened. The first is in John 8:59 when the Lord said, “Before Abraham was, I AM,” taking to Himself the name of Jehovah. “Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”
Similarly in John 10:30-31, the Lord said, “I and My Father are one.” John records, “Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.” Of course, remembering the Old Testament prophecy that not one of His bones would be broken, He could not die by stoning.
Events moved on inexorably. God’s purpose was worked out and on the night before the crucifixion, the Lord Jesus prayed, “Father, THE HOUR HAS COME. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.” Precisely according to the Father’s calendar, The Son of God gave His life for us.