The "hour" of Jesus is a noticeably prominent theme in the Gospel according to John. The word "hour" (Greek ωρα, hōra) sometimes refers simply and literally to a short period of chronological time (a 60-minute period during the day). More often and more importantly, however, "Jesus' hour" refers more broadly and metaphorically to the climactic event of Jesus' death and resurrection, which the Fourth Gospel also refers to as his "glorification" (12:23; 17:1). Early in the Gospel, the narrator and Jesus himself emphasize several times that his hour had not yet come (2:4; 7:30; 8:20). Twice he similarly stresses, "My time has not yet come" (using the Greek word καιρος, kairos). But when does Jesus' "time" or "hour" actually come?
At the beginning of the Last Supper (13:1), the narrator says, "his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father" (13:1). Similarly, in the prayer Jesus addresses to the Father at the end of the Last Supper Discourses, he begins, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you” (17:1).
Curiously, however, Jesus had earlier already said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (12:23). Moreover, in reference to certain other events related to his salvific mission, he had twice also already said "the hour is coming, and is now here" (4:23; 5:25).
Jesus, to his mother, at the Wedding at Cana:
2:4 – “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
Jesus, to the Samaritan at the well:
4:21 – “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
4:23 – “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.”
The royal official from Capernaum, to his servants:
4:52-53 – So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” / The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household.
Jesus, to the Jews:
5:25 – “Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”
5:28 – “Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice.”
Jesus, to the Jews (using the word "kairos"):
John 7:6 – Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.”
John 7:8 – “Go to the festival yourselves. I am not going to this festival, for my time has not yet fully come.”
7:30 – Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.
8:20 – He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Jesus, to his disciples, before raising Lazarus from the dead:
11:9 – “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world.”
Jesus, to his disciples, after Andrew and Philip tell him that some Greeks wanted to see him:
12:23 – “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
12:27 – “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.”
The Evangelist/narrator, beginning the "Book of Signs"; introducing the Washing of the Feet:
13:1 – Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Jesus, to his disciples, in the Last Supper Discourses:
16:2 – “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God.”
16:4 – “But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.”
16:21 – “When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.”
16:25 [Jesus, to his disciples] – “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures, but will tell you plainly of the Father.”
16:32 – “The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.”
Jesus, praying to his Father, at the end of the Last Supper Discourses:
17:1 – After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you.”
Jesus, just before his dies on the cross:
19:27 – Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.
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March 29, 2012
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