Kairos – The Time of Opportunity

OppIt is interesting to note that in the Greek language there are two words for time: chronos, which refers to the ongoing forward movement of time, and kairos, which refers to opportunity, or a favorable time.

Jesus’ brothers wanted to push him into prominence (see John 7:1-8). Jesus knew that there was a right 'time' (Greek kairos) for him and the Father’s purposes. He would not move in the wrong time. Jesus seemed to not always know this in advance but he discerned it as such in the moment when it came. He always waited for the Father to show it to him.

We too need to live in step with the Spirit knowing that there is a kairos moment for everything. Kairos time is a decisive and crucial moment. It can mean danger or opportunity. It is a time for favorable execution. It is a moment of potential advantage. There is a kairos for everything (Ecc.3:10-14). It is a critical situation when a right decision must be made. It is an appointed moment, fixed by God.

The Greeks saw kairos this way: “Know the critical situation in your life, know that it demands a decision, and what decision, train yourself to recognize as such the decisive point in your life, and to act accordingly." [TDNT]

The city of Jerusalem missed its kairos moment (Luke 19:44). [See also Eph.5:16. Col.4:5. Rom.12:11. Mt.26:18. Rom.5:6. Tit.1:3. 1 Tim.2:6; 6:15. Gal.6:9. Acts 1:7. 2 Tim.4:6]

On the day of Pentecost, Peter was able to discern what was happening and interpret it in light of prophetic scripture. He was able to look back and interpret this current moment in light of what had already been spoken by the prophet Joel. We too need to know prophecy (what God has said) and be ready for those kairos moments of fulfilment, when God brings to pass his promises.

What is God doing right now that is a fulfilment of previous declarations? Learn to interpret the times and the seasons … See what God is doing and how his grand narrative is unfolding … Open your eyes and look at what God is doing in the world. Be an interpreter of the times. Help people understand what is going on. Bring meaning to the current situation. Bring clarity out of the confusion. Give a label and explanation to what is going on so people gain understanding. Be a sign and a direction pointer, showing people the way.

May we live each day (chronos time) … tuned to what God is doing and ready to seize each moment and opportunity (kairos time) as it presents itself.