Blind people see. Lame people walk. The unclean are now clean. Deaf people hear. Dead people are now alive. And the lost are being found. Blessed is the one who doesn’t walk away because he was expecting something else.
That was Jesus’ answer to John the Baptist’s inquiry from prison: “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:-6)
Then Jesus asked the crowd about their expectations of John the Baptist. Only those expecting a prophet would not have been disappointed. (v. 7-15)
Jesus described “this generation” by their expectations (v.17-19), and the fickleness of those expectations. “That” generation may be no different than “this” generation.
The Messiah that was “expected” would have been a royal warrior. One who would overthrow the oppression of the Roman rule and establish the Jewish Kingdom. To say the least, He was not what they expected. Turns out, they expected far too little of Him.
What about us? Are we any different? I know some who have walked away because they didn’t get what they expected from Jesus. The problem is not who Jesus is or what He does or doesn’t do. The problem is what we expect of Him.
We expect Him to change our spouse so that we can have a happy marriage. He instead teaches us the true meaning of dying to ourselves. We expect Him to keep us employed so we can pay our bills. He takes away our job, and we learn dependency on the One who provides when there is no provision in sight. We make a plan for our lives and expect Him to make it happen. He throws out our plan and we find ourselves in the middle of something we never dared to dream up, and we have no idea where we’re heading or how to get there. So we have to continually seek Him for our next step. We expect a life without pain or suffering. We get troubles, trials and suffering that bring us face to face with mercy, comfort and a place of refuge like no other. We expect happiness, not realizing that happiness is fleeting. He gives us joy, which abides in the deep place of our heart even in the midst of difficulty. We expect punishment, and receive forgiveness.
We expect a “saved” life to be lived out on this earth basically the way we see fit. We expect to see Jesus in heaven, but until then, we’re on our own for the most part. We expect to have lives that won’t really matter or make a difference. We expect to have a relationship with Jesus that doesn’t include His Body, that doesn’t require us to walk in submission to others, that doesn’t seek to force our hearts out into the open. We expect our lives to be, well, ours.
You see, we too expect too little of Jesus.
Until our expectations of Jesus change, He will never meet them. Hopefully we won’t walk away before we realize that He has far surpassed every expectation.