And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,
Though Jesus helped the hurting and healed the sick, the chief priests and scribes were enraged that the people called him the chosen one.
Expectations are everything. In life when we have expectations or anticipation for an event or a relationship, things rarely go as planned. The event maybe has some unexpected twists and turns and it can overshadow the experience. In relationships a person might say something we weren’t expecting or do something out of the normal and we are left distracted and disappointed. Expectations can create unexpected disappointment.
The scribes and chief priests had been longing for the messiah their whole lives. However their expectations and anticipations were different than who the messiah actually was. It wasn’t that their version was better, but maybe just “better for them”. In other words, they expected Jesus to say and do what they agreed with. They had assumed He would be cut from the same cloth. Instead Jesus spent his time with the people the scribes and chief priests overlooked, healing the sick and hanging with sinners. Their expectations weren’t realized because their expectations were misguided. So how can I avoid misguided expectations?
-Ask myself where the expectation came from. In this circumstance the expectation of the religious leadership came from Old Testament prophecy AND their own personal preferences. This is what messed them up. When it comes to God, my own flesh can play tricks on me. It is easy to create a version of God that is “salted” with my own seasoning. The problem with this is that as time goes on my flesh morphs my understanding of God into something and someone He just isn’t. The scripture then becomes the “salt”. I create a version of God I want and then “season” him with carefully selected scriptures to make him just right for me. This is a perfect recipe for unmet expectations and frustrations. (God made me. I didn’t make God.)
-See what God is doing instead of expecting Him to do what I want. The religious leadership waited for Jesus to behave as they expected and missed what He was actually doing. Instead of celebrating the miracles, they critiqued them. When I allow my expectations of God and other people drive me, I spend my life criticizing instead of celebrating. (Celebrate instead of criticizing)
-Jesus’ ministry ultimately pointed to His greatest work; the cross. When I study the life of Jesus I will spend a whole lot less time offended by what He said or baffled by what He did if I look to the cross and resurrection first. Once the cross and resurrection becomes my baseline I can study the life and ministry of Jesus in context. So when His teachings confuse or offend me, or when my prayers seem to go unanswered, or when He allows something to happen that hurts me or someone I love, I already know His heart through the cross and resurrection. I know He already met my greatest need. I know that this life is temporary. I know He loves me and everyone else I meet today. Jesus was the answer to the cries, Hosanna! He is still the answer to this same cry. He is my rescuer, my redeemer, my savior. (Make the Cross and resurrection my baseline for all expectations and anticipations)
-Expectations and anticipations can ruin my relationships with other people. Many of these come from a lack of feeling fulfilled in my relationship with you. May I stop placing misguided expectations on others. This only leads to a life of frustration and disappointment. May I find myself satisfied fully in you and have the peace to relate and celebrate others instead of being distracted when they miss the mark of my expectations. (Find fullness in Jesus first)
Father I am thankful. I don’t want to miss what you are doing in my life because my expectations are misguided. I don’t want to miss celebrating what you are doing in other people’s lives because I am distracted. I don’t want to forget that you already met my greatest need.