Kairos – Introduction

Kairos – Introduction

Kairos – Introduction.

KAIROS: (Greek, kahee-ros); an ancient Greek term for “time” that has been defined and described in many ways. New Testament Kairos means time, the right time, not just any time. The other Greek word for time is chronos, which is simply the linear measurement of time, as in the word chronology. Chronos has to do with quantity of time, while Kairos has to do with quality of time. Chronos refers to the sheer presence of time, but Kairos refers to the presence of timeliness. One can see different aspects of the effects of Kairos time depending on the situation. There are three angles of Kairos as we look at “kairos time” in the New Testament:

  1. Kairos means a timely opportunity; the fitting time for action; the right time to get involved; the proper time to act or decide something; a moment whose time has come; a time to respond because things have come to a head (kairos is related to the Greek word for head, “kara”); a particular time when a crisis has created an opportunity.
  2. Kairos is God-time; the appointed time appointed by God; a sacred time for God to act; the opportune time when the Holy Spirit is moving someone into action; the moment of truth when the Spirit of God is inspiring the right word or action for the occasion; the right, fitting time to accomplish God’s will. One sacred example would be the Judeo-Christian believer honoring the Sabbath as God’s appointed time once a week, which sanctifies the day and enables the believer to experience Kairos time.
  3. Kairos time can be experienced by someone who has lost track of time, who are in a state of mind in which they are not even aware of chronos time but fully enveloped in Kairos time. Examples would be monks during contemplation, artists while sculpting or painting; authors when writing; musicians when composing or performing; children while playing; worshipers while engaged in divine singing; gardeners while working in their gardens. Kairos is when someone loses track of time when in a state of inspiration or concentrated activity. When so inspired, time goes by so fast that they are completely unaware of the passage of time. For those in Kairos time in a peak of creative or inspired activity, chronos time seems irrelevant. (the primary reference: author Madelein L’Engle, from her memoir, Walking on Water).

An example of Kairos Time in Jesus’ first sermon, Mark 1:14-15. Here we find Jesus after his forerunner and cousin John the Baptist is put in prison, and Jesus has successfully undergone the Temptation in the wilderness. Notice the urgency in Jesus’ tone. He is imploring the people to respond to His words, because this is Kairos time, the timely opportunity to respond to Him. The key purpose of the old covenant has been completed, the King is here, the long-awaited Messiah has finally arrived! It is time to change your lives and trust in His good news! There are various versions of Kairos Time in this passage:  The appointed time has come; Time’s up!; This is the time of fulfillment; It’s high time; The time has come; The time promised by God has come at last; Now is the time; The right time has come; the Time is accomplished; The time has fully come.   

Another Way of Saying this Passage: Now after John the Baptist was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee announcing the Good News of God’s Kingdom, saying, ‘Now is the time! The time of preparation for my coming has been fulfilled! Yes, the time that was set by the Father in Scripture has come at last! The messianic prophecies have been fulfilled! The reign of God has drawn near you, His Kingdom is at hand. Metanoia… Change your minds, change your whole way of thinking and acting, and return to the Lord! The proper time has fully come to repent, believe in the gospel, and trust in Me!’

Paul Reinforces Kairos Time, Galatians 4:4-5: “When kairos time had come, when the fullness of time had arrived, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born as a Jew under the Law, to buy our freedom for us, to redeem us who were slaves under the Law, so that God could adopt us as His very own children into His family.”