How do you react when Jesus doesn’t live up to your expectations? Continue reading . . .
How do you react when Jesus doesn’t live up to your expectations? Now, don’t give me any of that pious bologna about how Jesus has always fulfilled even your highest and most outrageous expectations. Has he always answered every prayer in the way you thought he should have? Has he always orchestrated your life according to your schedule? Did he always teach the doctrines you thought he should have taught? Has he reacted to people in the gospel stories in precisely the way you thought would have been most appropriate?
The bottom line is that Jesus often times does things that shock and surprise us. He never does anything wrong, sinful, or unwise, but he many times does things that are utterly unexpected and contrary to what we believe either would happen or should happen.
Regardless of your response to my question, I can assure you that there were people in the first century to whose expectations Jesus rarely if ever measured up. That’s not to say they weren’t living in hope of the appearance of the Messiah. Indeed, they were. But they wanted a Messiah on a leash! They wanted a savior and deliverer who would fetch and heel and sit at their command and according to their wishes. They wanted someone who would live by their rules.
But if there is one thing about Jesus of which we can be rock solid certain, it is that he will not be domesticated! He will not dance to the tune of human expectations. Any attempt on the part of these people in the first century to set boundaries beyond which Jesus cannot go always proved fruitless. Any attempt on our part in the twenty-first century to create a mold into which we can stuff Jesus and make him conform, will likewise prove futile, if not fatal. Jesus will not be put in a box. We must