Links Daily Devotional

Reviving Expectation

“Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29, NIV)

Among the many things a young tour player must learn to manage is the variation in tee times day to day. Thursday and Friday tee times are arranged in “waves,” so that you’ll go early one day and late the next, or vice versa. Lesser known players are normally set at the ends, so they may be among the last off the course on Thursday, say, and yet first out on Friday morning.

More than that, if a young player is near the lead on the weekend, he will wait until well after lunchtime for his tee time. It makes not only for an anxious wait, but a long one. By then the butterflies have had quite a few hours to multiply.

We have all known such waits in our lives, when tension and time conspire against us. Talk about your uneasy feelings!

Unsettled expectation was the general state of the Jewish people in the decades before Jesus was born and grew into his years of public ministry. They had long looked for the coming of the Messiah—the anointed one sent by God for the salvation of the people. But with the Roman Empire intruding on their financial, political, and religious freedoms, they desired a victorious king more than ever. God’s Messiah and that rescuing king—surely they were one and the same.

But when Jesus came, few recognized him. He was not of royal lineage or military bearing. He was not wealthy or rabbinically trained. He was—and this was said with derision—only the carpenter’s son from a nowhere town far from the hub of Jewish activity.

Moreover, it was in places like Samaria, where Jesus encountered the woman at the well, that he made his mark. He approached this woman against all convention, asked her for water, and engaged her in conversation. He ticked off her sins, husband by husband and live-in by live-in, yet she did not balk. She saw in this man something she had seen in no one else. She returned to her village and asked the most loaded of all First Century questions, “Could this be the Messiah?”

The disciples didn’t even ask the question. Fishermen with no other social standing, they made simple proclamations. Andrew found his brother Peter and told him directly, “We have found the Messiah.”

Before all this expectation (be sure to include Luke 3:15 in your reading here), I wonder if we stand indicted. Even in our proper knowledge of the historical Jesus and what he has done for us, do we look with expectation for what he has yet to do, both tomorrow and for tomorrows on end? If Jesus is resurrected, as we declare him to be, if he reigns as king of our hearts, then we should be ready any moment for his voice, his hand, his trumpet call. If this is a king we can count on, then we should be counting the ways we would love to see him work among us, pray that it will happen, and look with expectation for his great work.

Jeff Hopper
April 1, 2015
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