Expectations - by Greg Steggerda

It’s easy to become a prisoner of your own expectations; we see what we think we’ll see and we find what we set out looking for. Sometimes, that makes us miss a fantastic truth, something new and compelling that wasn’t what we expected.

Two men walking to Emmaus had that happen to them. Here’s what happened after Jesus joined them, from Luke 24:17-21: 

“He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’
“They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?’
“‘What things?’ he asked.
“‘About Jesus of Nazareth,’ they replied. ‘He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel.’”

What those two men saw was a limited truth. Jesus was an amazing prophet, one who came and spoke the words of God’s revelation to his people. And they had a reasonable hope, for redemption. But they expected redemption to look a specific way - they probably thought it would involve the Romans being ousted and a return to Jewish rule of the Jews - so they missed the greater truth of what really happened and who Jesus really was.

Looking too intently at worldly politics, they missed the oppression of sin and guilt. Wanting so badly to have another David, a Jewish general/king who would lead them back to greatness, they never expected a new hope for the whole world. 

What are we looking for from Jesus? Do we want big churches, with the latest in technology, the largest Sunday attendance, and the most flavors at the coffee bar? Do we want health and wealth and blessings in life? Do we just want him to kill this virus and give us our normal lives back? If that’s what we’re looking for, how easily we overlook the infinite value of a Savior who digs into our hearts and roots out all the things that are killing us, one painful surgery at a time. We’ll never appreciate the removal of guilt if we didn’t want it in the first place.

We find the truth about Jesus the same place the men from Emmaus did: in the revelation of God himself. That’s the best place to go to start looking for the right things.