Desires Often Set Expectations

'Lost and Found' by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.
“Lost and Found” by Greg Olsen. Used with Permission.

November 20, 2022

Gospel – Matthew 11:2-11

When John the Baptist heard in prison of the works of the Christ,
he sent his disciples to Jesus with this question,
“Are you the one who is to come,
or should we look for another?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear,
the dead are raised,
and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.
And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

As they were going off,
Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John,
“What did you go out to the desert to see?
A reed swayed by the wind?
Then what did you go out to see?
Someone dressed in fine clothing?
Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces.
Then why did you go out? To see a prophet?
Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
This is the one about whom it is written:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.

Amen, I say to you,
among those born of women
there has been none greater than John the Baptist;
yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

I would never compare what I do to what John the Baptist did. That’s not the question. But I sometimes beat myself up in moments of doubt – when things continue to pile up on those I love or me.

Then when things pile up on me AND the ones I love I allow my desires to set my expectations.

I feel like John finds himself today struggling with his desires setting his expectations. Sitting in Herod’s prisons he’s got to be wondering what Jesus is doing. Why isn’t he wiping out the evil with a fiery sword? Something others were trying to reconcile (Judas anyone?).

So John sends his followers to ask Jesus, “Are you the One?” Jesus doesn’t answer yes or no. He says to observe.

John was a very moral man. His expectations of the Messiah were set by his desire to see what he thought should happen. The Jewish people also had mistaken expectations.

I have an advantage in knowing the Messiah – and yet – my desires still very often set my expectations. I still look for the Warrior Savior when I know he is a Lamb.

Is it possible for me to be a lamb?

At least that’s what I heard Him say…

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