• David Osteen

Parable: "What Time Is It?"

“What time is it Honey?” “It’s 12:30 my Dear!” “What time is it Daddy? “It’s 12:30 my Son” “Howdy neighbor! What time is it?” “It’s 12:30 my friend”. For this happy old Christian farmer it was always 12:30. Whenever someone would ask him what time it was; wife, son, neighbor, stranger, it didn’t matter. It was always 12:30. It became a riddle around town. Why is that farmer always telling everyone it’s 12:30? People in town would talk about it. Whisper about it. Laugh about. But nobody ever asked him about it. That is, until one day, a young brash lad asked the old farmer what time it was. He responded as always, “It’s 12:30 my friend!” “12:30?!” replied the young lad. “It’s way past 12:30. Have you lost your mind old man, or have you just lost the time?” The old farmer didn’t miss a beat. “Had I known I was speaking to such a hooligan I would’ve told you it’s time to find some respect. Young man, it’s 12:30 and don’t you forget it!” The spurned young lad left humbled. This went on for a few years until the old farmer died.

All the towns people gathered together at the graveside for the funeral. Rumor was, that the answer to the riddle of what 12:30 meant would finally be revealed. The old farmer’s son got up to speak. He said, “My daddy left this note behind for me to read here today. It says, ‘Throughout my life people have always asked me what time it is. Even though I wear no watch and carry no timepiece, that never stopped anyone from asking, and it never stopped me from telling. No sir. I always knew what time it was; which is one reason I never needed a timepiece. Whenever someone would ask me what time it was, I would always say, ‘It’s 12:30’. I would always say ’It’s

12:30’ in honor of the greatest command in the Bible, “Love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” – Mark 12:30. You see folks, no matter what time of the day it is, it’s always 12:30. It’s always time to love the Lord with all that you have. If you were to ask God what time it is, I’d imagine he’d say it’s 3:16 – as in First John 3:16 – “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us...” I know God loves me. He loves me all the time. I know that I should love God. I should love God all the time. If there is one thing that I hope you have learned in our life together, it’s that I didn’t just tell you it was 12:30, but I lived to show you it as well. If you are here listening to this letter, and your life is not right with God; guess what time it is? NOPE! It’s not just 12:30 anymore, now it’s 2:38. As in Acts 2:38 – ‘Let each of you repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…’ If you know that the time right now is 2:38, then won’t you go with my son down to the river, and be baptized?”

Everyone stood stunned and silenced. Knowing the man’s love for the Lord, and that the Old Farmer’s words were wise and true; about 12:30 that day, 10 souls went down to the river and were baptized into Christ.


Hopefully you didn’t forget to set your clocks back one hour last week, but without looking at your watch; what time is it? What time is it! Truth is, it’s a different answer for each of us, but it’s also the same answer for each of us. Let me explain.

It’s a different time for each of us, because we are all at different stages in our lives; different levels of maturity. For some it may be 10:16 pm (that’s 22:16 military time), as in “Why do you delay, arise and be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16) Why are you putting it off? You ask me what time it is and I’ll tell you it’s time to put off sin, put on righteousness, and get in the Lord’s church and get busy. But most of us may have already done it. For you it may be something like 4:01 (I Thessalonians), as in “excel still more”. It may be 4:26 (Ephesians), as in it is time to not sin in anger, but rather forgive in love. Etc. Etc. So, we each have to examine our hearts and our lives and ask “What time is it?” in MY life, and act accordingly. Just like lunch time means it’s time to get lunch, dinner time means it’s time to eat dinner, break time means it’s time to take a break; well, reading these verses means it’s time to get busy living these truths.

But while these may be a different time for each of us today, it is also the SAME time for each of us. It’s the same time in that there are verses in the Bible that universally apply to each of us ALL the time. Like 12:30 for example. When is it NOT time to love God? Or how about 12:31 (Mark)? When is it NOT time to love your neighbor? How about 10:24 (Hebrews)? On a Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening; for which of us is it NOT time to be at the assembling of the saints? Or 3:23 (Colossians)? When is it NOT time to work as for the Lord rather than men? You get the picture. There are some verses that apply to each of us… all the time.

Without looking at your watch; what time is it? You know the answer don’t you? It IS 12:30! It’s time to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. But how do you love God? You love God by keeping His commandments, and doing so with a good and joyous attitude. (I John 5:3) If you have never obeyed the gospel though, then the time now is 1:08 (II Thessalonians 1:8). It’s time for you to realize that without obedience to the gospel, your soul is lost. It’s better to know the time NOW! Why? Because there’s still time to do something about it. There will come a day when it will be “too late”. Where time won’t matter anymore because you will be living in eternity. (Luke 16:25-26) You won’t be able to change anything then. But NOW, now is the time where you can change your life forever (II Corinthians 6:02). What time is it now? It’s time to love God (Mark 12:30) with all of your being, so that you can be in the love of God… for all of eternity.

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