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6 15-21 Does God Have Bad Timing

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                                                  liberty bible church          5/4/08 a.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Does God have Bad timing?”

John 6:15-21


Illus. of the people coming behind us and helping us change the tire. That was really good timing. Then there was the time Cindi and I were sick at the exact same moment. That was really bad timing. Life is full of moments that appear to have at times what seems to be really good timing and sometimes appears to be really bad timing. For many Christians, we sometimes struggle with what we might call bad timing on God’s part. Why would God allow me to lose my job? Why would God allow my child to be rebellious? Why would God allow me to be sick? The question I want to answer today is does God have bad timing? Is it possible for Him to allow bad things at the wrong time?

OPEN to the passage.

Prop. In this passage, we see that even what appears to be bad might be in the perfect timing of God’s plan.    

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. The feeding of the 5,000 has just occurred. We are now about two years into Jesus’ ministry and Jesus is at the height of His earthly popularity. Today, we are going to examine another well-known miracle of our Lord and see through it the perfect timing of God. We learn two things about God’s timing here. First…

 i. god’s time is prime time vs. 15-18

Illus. of hunting mushrooms when I was younger. The past week has been prime time to find mushrooms. You wouldn’t try to find them in late August or early January. Prime time refers to the perfect time for whatever is in question. The major TV networks refer the evenings or Sunday afternoons when the viewers are at their highest for their programming. This is when they can charge the most for their advertising. It is prime time. Whenever God chooses to work, it is prime time; and when He chooses not to work, it’s not prime time. We see that here.

a. NOw is not prime time to be king

V 15a   1. Early in Jesus’ ministry, He at times told those that were recipients of His grace to tell no one. He did not want there to be too much excitement about Him just yet. We see why here. After another glorious miracle, Jesus knew what the people were thinking. They wanted to make him king and would do it without His consent if necessary. So, in order to keep them from temptation, He removes Himself from the situation.

V 15b  2. God would make Him king in time, but now was not the right time. He would have to die on the cross before He could be King. He knew that, but I’m sure the people didn’t understand it just yet. While all this was going on, He takes the opportunity to again teach His disciples. But…

b. now doesn’t seem like prime time to learn

V 16-   1. While all this was going on, He sends the disciples away. Cf. Mt. 14:22; Mk. 6:45 Jesus all but orders them

        17a   into the boat and sends them out on the lake; a big lake. They probably though they were off for the day. They didn’t realize that some lessons were coming. But why now? This doesn’t seem like a good time, for several reasons.

V 17b  2. It was dark. It was late and I’m sure they were tired. They had just served thousands of people. It had been a long day of serving. What lessons could God teach them now. Any teacher knows that your mind needs to be rested, well-fed, ready to learn.

V 18    3. On top of everything else, they were now facing some difficult weather conditions that soon would become very frightening. Late evening storms are not uncommon here. What was Jesus doing all this time? Cf. Mk. 6:47-48a His eye was on them. He knew exactly what they were doing and was ready to deliver them, when the time was right. He was praying and keeping His eye on them. It was now prime time to teach them.

Trans. GOD’S TIME IS PRIME TIME, even when it makes no sense to us. He knows what He’s doing. God’s schedule is different than man’s. The sooner we understand and accept that, the easier life will be. Second…

ii. god is never late vs. 19-21

Illus. of telling couples getting married to tell all members of the bridal party to be at the rehearsal 15-30 minutes early. We don’t have to do that with God. He is never late.

a. god can do amazing things

V 19a   1. They were probably about halfway out into the Lake; pretty far for a row boat.

V 19b  2. They see Jesus approaching, walking on the water. Why were they afraid? Cf. Mk. 6:48b-50a They thought they were seeing some sort of spirit being. They were extremely troubled. It’s about 3:00 a.m. Somewhere between 3 and 6. This is major rapid eye movement sleep time. These guys were seeing the strange stuff. They were troubled, as we all would be.

V 20    3. God is always ready to comfort us when we are troubled, especially in trials He allows us to go through. “It is I” is ego eimi. “I Am.” The same term is used as the name of God. “I Am that I Am.” Here, He is probably just identifying Himself, but His actions declare that He is God. He is walking on water and seeks to comfort His men. God can do amazing things. Second here,

b. We must stay focused on him

            1. Cf. Mt. 14:28-29 Peter is able to do the miraculous as he trust in God. What does he do that causes him to falter?

            2. Cf. Mt. 14:30 He focused on the trouble around him. He concentrated on the circumstances in the world, rather than what God could do and he sank.

            3. Cf. Mt. 14:31-32 Even though his faith faltered and he doubted, God rescued him. Jesus gets into the boat and the wind stopped. And if this weren’t enough, John tells us of another miracle.

V 21    4. Jesus transported them 3 or 4 miles to their destination.

            5. Jesus had proven that He could provide for His own in the miracle feeding and now proves that He can protect His own and deliver them to safety. What a lesson at what we thought was a most inopportune time. It was late, they were tired, the weather stunk, but, it was prime time with God.


GOD’S TIME IS PRIME TIME, even when it makes no sense to us. And GOD IS NEVER LATE. Once again, it may make no sense to us, but He knows what He is doing and He is never late. God is not the one with bad timing, it’s us. What are some bad timing decisions that we make?

1.      We wait to get saved. 2 Cor. 6:2 GOSPEL

2.      We wait to repent from sins that are weighing us down.

3.      Even though God could do amazing things in trials we are experiencing, we take our eyes off of Him and get discouraged.

Illus. of our neighbors who were Catholic having to go to school on Saturday. Probably for CCD or something. I used to think that was awful. School on Saturday? That’s not a time I wanted to learn.

Sometimes we are like that. We want to learn on our schedule, but God’s school is always open. If we trust and learn, we will see what amazing things God can do. His timing is perfect. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, He is always watching, and always willing to teach. Be faithful, follow Him, and watch Him work. It will be an amazing lesson that you will never forget.


“Does God have Bad timing?”

John 6:15-21


Why would God allow me to lose my job? Why would God allow my child to be rebellious? Why would God allow me to be sick? The question I want to answer today is does God have bad timing? Is it possible for Him to allow bad things at the wrong time?

 i. god’s time is                                                              vs. 15-18

a. NOw is not prime time to be _________________

b. now doesn’t seem like prime time to ________

                Cf. Mt. 14:22; Mk. 6:45-48a 

ii. god is never                                                             vs. 19-21

a. god can do __________________ _______________

                Cf. Mk. 6:48b-50a

b. We must stay _______________________ on him

                Cf. Mt. 14:28-32


What are some bad timing decisions that we make?




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