Lent 35 - False Expectations


 John 12:12-16

God’s people were correct in thinking that God was sending them a new king in Jesus, but they were not happy with the type of king that God had sent. 

God remembered the people of Israel and provided them with a King. But when their King arrived, they were not thankful because they had a skewed idea of how their king was going to look and behave. While on Sunday the people praised and sang as Jesus entered the City of Jerusalem, a couple of days later on Friday, the people called for Jesus’ crucifixion and supported the murderer Barabbas instead. They were not happy with the King that Jesus claimed to be.

Their expectation got in the way of God’s plan for them. The people of Jerusalem were so caught up in their own idea of what their promised Messiah was going to look like, do and say, that they completely missed what God was doing right in front of them. How often is this true for us today?

What unrealistic and self-conceived expectations have we placed on God’s plan for our lives? What type of King or Saviour have we created in our minds that we are expecting to show up and save the day? Perhaps because of our own contexts and backgrounds, we too have expected God to fit into our own idea of what a righteous king should look like and how he/she should behave? 

Through the events of Palm Sunday, we are reminded that our expectations of God are not always correct and they can sometimes get in the way of what God is trying to reveal to us. While we can attempt to understand what God is doing in us and for us, our primary purpose should be to trust. 

Perhaps, instead of spending countless hours modelling what we believe our God should look like or do, we should focus primarily on seeking God’s truth and leave the logistics of exactly what that looks like up to God. 

Prayer: King Jesus, I am sorry for when my expectations get in the way of my relationship with You. Help me to live in the moment, guided by Your Holy Spirit. It is when we learn to live like this that we can be surprised by Your grace and Your goodness. Help me to set my preconceived ideas to the side and seek You in every person and every moment. Amen.

Image Source: Andrew Mulenga

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