Christianese is the language Christians speak in Christian circles and it often has inside, hidden meaning. An example of this is, “A sin is a sin.” That’s “Christianese” for “I don’t want to confront this, so don’t bring it up again.” “Lord willing” often means “I won’t be there.” And “In God’s time” can mean “I’m not really vested in this right now.”
But what really is “in God’s time?” To be fair, God really does work on his own timetable, and his timing is perfect. But oftentimes we use “in God’s time” as a cop out. In the church we are used to red tape. We are accustomed to hearing and making excuses. “I’m too busy,” “I have a lot on my plate,” “this isn’t the right season.” What we are saying is that in God’s time really means “in my time.”
In the gospel of Mark, he uses the word “immediately” 41 times. The word is used 59 in all of the New Testament. Some have dubbed Mark “the Gospel of Immediately.” Mark is drawing attention to the fact that Jesus was a doer, not a planner. Jesus was not locked into board meetings, planning sessions, committee break outs, or leadership meetings. Rather, he was serving. Every time Jesus saw a needy person he immediately served. He healed. He prayed. He taught. He fed. Immediately.
We sometimes miss how active Jesus was because we read snapshots of his ministry. But Mark shows that “in God’s time” is immediately. Mark says, “And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching” (Mark 1:21 ESV). “And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit” (vs. 23). Jesus healed the man by driving the spirit out. “And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee” (vs. 28).
Mark wants his readers to know that the needs were immediate and that Jesus immediately took care of those needs. He didn’t wait for permission or take the time to include others. When there was someone in front of him who was desperate, he immediately served. This is God’s time in the gospel of Mark. Though the other gospels don’t use Mark’s method, there is still movement. Jesus is rarely sitting around, and he certainly didn’t clothe himself in red tape. At a time when people are searching, God’s time is. . . immediately!