“He’s not at all what I expected him to be.” I’ve said these words to my husband many times. He tells me highly entertaining stories about people in his life – past and present. And when I actually meet them, they often seem far more ordinary than I expected. It’s not that my husband’s descriptions are inaccurate; it’s just that my imagination exceeds the facts.
My experience is not unlike that of the followers of Jesus in Luke 24. Their unmet expectations filled them with doubt and disappointment about who Jesus is. Open your Bible and read Luke 24.
Imagine the disappointment of Jesus’ followers after His death. Many of them had waited their entire lives for the Messiah, and had finally come to believe Jesus was that long-expected Savior. Following Him throughout His ministry of the past 3 years, they anticipated a moment of great triumph when He would finally defeat their oppressive enemies.
But that didn’t happen. He died. A most gruesome, public, and shameful death, too. Far from the triumphant victory they’d envisioned.
Imagine the doubts that set in. “Was He really the Messiah? Was everything He said these past 3 years a sham? Have I been a fool to believe this charade?”
The people were familiar with the prophecies about the Messiah, but their interpretations were inaccurate. Even when they heard that Jesus had risen from the dead, it was too unbelievable to overcome their doubts. Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies, but it looked entirely different than they expected.
Are you struggling with unmet expectations this Christmas? Doubt and disappointment are a normal part of being human. Today’s reading shows that God can handle our questions, our doubts, and our disappointment! He even invites us to share them with Him (v.17,19)!
The Jesus we see in Luke 24 is the same Jesus we know today (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus Christ is who He says He is, and He is faithful to do what He said He would do.
God patiently uses His Word to teach us the truth about who He is (v.27), and He opens the eyes of our understanding, reveals Himself to us (38-43), and ministers to our hearts by His Spirit (v.31, 44-45).
Pour out your heart to Jesus today. Be honest about your unmet expectations. Ask Him to open the eyes of your understanding by His Word and His Spirit. Then wait for Him to answer, because He will! Jesus wants to reveal Himself to you. His birth in Bethlehem is evidence of that!
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you (Romans 8:11, NLT).”
Have you followed along in our read through the Book of Luke from chapter 1 through chapter 24?
I started this journey on a whim. I didn’t plan it in advance and had no idea what I would write about each day, but I’ve found it to be an enriching experience. The story of Jesus in the Book of Luke is so full of spiritual treasure!
Would you enjoy a devotional walk through another book of the Bible in the future. I’d value your feedback tremendously.
Thank you for joining me, and may you have a truly merry Christmas!