Is this a good time for you to read this blog? What is your idea of a ‘good’ time?
For two successive Sundays, the word that could be translated as ‘good time’ has been used in the Gospel text. The Greek word means, literally, ‘good time’, but it is never translated that way.
Last Sunday, the text said that Herod’s wife wanted John the Baptist dead, but she was not able to do that. And then, the text says, ‘an opportunity’ came (Mark 6:19-21). This Sunday, Jesus’ disciples had been so busy that, the text says, ‘they had no LEISURE(!) even to eat (ESV; Mark 6:31).’
There is obviously a wide range of things that could make for something that people would consider to be a ‘good time’. On the one hand, there was a good time for someone to be dead. On the other hand, there was NOT a good time for some people to eat.
It seems that, in both circumstances, time is working against the Christians. And the only other use of ‘good time’ in this account is when Judas was looking for a good time (an ‘opportunity’) to betray Jesus (Mark 14:11).
That gets to the heart of a ‘good’ time. A good time is not when things go well for an individual, whether Christian or not. A good time is when things go well for God. And God’s calendar is significantly different from ours.
John the Baptist dies. That is okay with God. The disciples do not have enough time to eat. That is also okay. Judas betrays Jesus. That is more than okay; that is exactly what he wanted.
The cry may go up, ‘Don’t you care that your disciples are hungry?’ The type and amount of God’s care is significantly better.
The critical point in this Gospel account is when Jesus is called the Son of God. He is given that title at the very beginning of the account. But it takes fifteen chapters for the Roman centurion to call Jesus that. And it is at the point where he is hanging dead on the cross.
We have more details about Jesus’ time on the cross in the Gospel according to Mark than all the other accounts (cf. Mark 15:25). I do not think that to be a coincidence.
Is that your idea of a ‘good time’? Yes, it is. At least, it should be. At least, it should be given a chance.