Summary: Christ was not what was expected more than two thousand years ago. His background, His outlook, His mission and His death were not what was expected. But it was all as God had planned.
Text: John 7:41
It’s not unusual for people to be guided by expectations. Our bosses have expectations, teachers have expectations. We have expectations for our spouses, our children; sometimes our expectations may actually match theirs. The key to expectations are what we base them on, what is the foundation for our expectations. Are we basing our expectations on reality or something else, like our own wants and desires?
These days’ people have expectations when they walk through the doors of a church building. They expect to be told that there is no one truth, that there is no one way to God. They expect to be told that God will love them no matter what they believe, no matter how they live, and that no matter what everyone goes to Heaven. And if what they hear isn’t what they expected, well they can just go down the street to the next church to see if their expectations are met.
But none of this is new. When we look back to Jesus’ day, the philosophy was not any different then. The Jews had decided that when the Christ arrived, he would take them out of Roman monarchy and lead them to ultimate power over all the kingdoms of the world. They believed they would be powerful, that they would be rich, that they would have everything they expected. What a disappointment Jesus must have been.
John 1:11 (NASB) He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
In this lesson let’s look at how Jesus failed to meet the expectations of those who were expecting his arrival.
I.Jesus was not what people expected because of His background.
A.Luke 2:7 says that when he was born they placed him in a manger, v. 24 says that the sacrifice offered for this firstborn was a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.
1.Both of these verses indicate the poverty of Mary and Joseph. Those who were rich would have been able to buy their way into the inn that night, if not they could have made other arrangements. Those who were rich could have afforded the intended sacrifice of a lamb for the firstborn son. It is apparent they were not rich.
2.It is also apparent that that was not important to Jesus. When Jesus made talked about rich people, it shocked those around him. "How hard it is," Jesus said in Luke 18:24, "for those who have riches to enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Their response: "Who then can be saved?"
3.While the world of their day elevated the rich, Jesus was not really concerned about being rich. While the people were concerned with things, with the appearance and trappings of wealth, Jesus was more interested in the hearts and souls of people.
B.It’s easy to see that things haven’t changed much. Modern religious people ignore his condemnation toward showing partiality to rich people in James 2. It is not uncommon for the success of a ministry to be directly related to how much money it generates. You don’t learn that from Jesus. You learn from Jesus that money doesn’t have anything to do with real life.
Many in this world like to point out that you can’t live without money, Jesus makes it clear that you can’t live without Him!
II.Jesus was not what people expected because of His friends.
A.Most kings, presidents, and other people in high positions would want to have friends who are also in high positions. They would want to have the right connections. They would want to make the right appearances at the right social gatherings.
1.Jesus was not what people expected because he did not look for any of those people. In Luke 5:12-13 Jesus was willing to touch those people who were unclean. In Luke 7:36-39 Jesus was willing to be touched by those who were impure. In Luke 19:6,7 Jesus went to the house of those were outcast by society.
B.Again, things haven’t changed much. Our society tends to evaluate individuals on the basis of what we can expect to get from them. We tend to shy away from and isolate ourselves from the needy and the helpless. However, if you follow Jesus, you will bruise your ego and your knees in service to others. You will have less money from helping others, and you will have less time from thinking of others. This is the lesson of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37.
If you are a friend of Jesus, you make friends with those in need.
III.Jesus was not what people expected because of His Mission.