Summary: Waiting is one of the hardest things we are called to do. And sometimes our expectations get skewed in the meantime.
Passage: Matthew 11:1-6
Intro: There are few things in the human experience as intense as waiting for something.
1. It seems like we spend our whole lives waiting to grow up, for our birthdays, our graduation, our marriage, our kids and our grandkids.
2. and of course, we wait in incredible anticipation for Christmas day, especially when we are kids.
3. anticipation brings expectations, as we search for clues to reveal what our presents will be.
4. but sometimes Christmas can be full of crushing disappointment when new bikes become argyle socks and mittens.
5. this kind of anticipation was rampant in Israel, anticipation of the Promised Messiah who would come and change everything.
6. and for one guy, who he anticipated interfered with his joy at the gift he received.
7. very simple this morning, the problem and the solution.
I. The Problem: Putting My Desires Above God’s Plan
1. John the Baptist is one of the most respected characters in the Bible.
2. unrelenting prophet of God, spoke the truth, recognized and glorified Jesus.
3. but things had not turned out as John had anticipated.
4. v2, “John heard in prison”…takes us back to another event.
5. John had run afoul of Herod, ruler of Israel.
PP Matthew 14:3
6. so he was sitting in prison, which is probably not what he had expected.
7. when Jesus came, he had probably anticipated being part of Jesus’ team
8. and instead, he had been benched.
9. but could he take comfort in what Jesus was doing anyway?
10. Go back to Matthew 3:10-12
11. John’s expectations were for judgment, and what did he hear?
12, he heard about healing, preaching, God’s grace to sinful man.
13. and frankly, he didn’t care for it very much.
14. he was so disappointed that he sent his disciples to ask a very pointed question.
15. v3, are you “the Coming One”=the Promised One of God, or should be look for another?”
16. this is the same John who cried out “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
17. his unmet expectations caused him to doubt the very message he had given.
Il) William Miller and the explanation of the great disappointment of 1844
18. we can experience the same thing with the Christian life, not what I was expecting, perhaps.
19. but there is a solution to this disappointment.
II. The Solution: Get the Whole Picture and Believe!
1. Jesus’ response here was so gentle, and
so full of the truth.
2. does he criticize or berate? No!
3. he simply points John in the direction of all the evidence.
4. the list that he gives is drawn from the prophecies of Isaiah.
5. only two actual quotations of phrases, so the focus is on the big picture.
6. and these verses gives a picture of God’s grace.
PP) Isaiah 29:18-21
PP) Isaiah 35:5-6
PP) Isaiah 42:18
7. John had made the mistake of focusing on part of the OT picture, and forgetting that God is bigger than his expectations.
PP Exodus 34:6
8. there is a thread that runs thru the people of God, a thread that prefers judgment to grace.