Sunday morning spent in community is a time set aside to grow:
11th week in the book of Luke
“Unorthodox and inappropriate”
The shape of a new community
Jesus succeeded to meet most people’s expectations. So was Jesus not who he said he was, or is/was there something wrong with our expectations.
“the most remarkable question”
“are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”
What are the circumstances that herald in this type of question into the context of our own lives?
Illustration”ask me Jesus 8 ball thing.
Odd this question, given John’s relationship and history with Jesus story.
The context and requirement of building John the prophet occurs in wilderness, not in the garden of Eden.
We seek a ‘garden life’ in order to grow, and yet perhaps the greatest growth happens in the wilderness. But the wilderness is not an end to itself, rather it is preparation for something far greater and of deliberate importance – which is only clearer as seen through the lens of those hardships.
See the humanness of John- and of course he was human, yet we elevate him higher than we perhaps ought.
Perhaps John’s expectations were met with a misunderstanding of what the Messiah might bring, be and do. He’d just been put in prison. John asked Jesus if Jesus was the “one”. Why?
What was the reason Jesus said, “Blessed is the one who does not fall away on account of me.” Why?
Why did John need to hear and know that? Perhaps Jesus needed to let John know that He would not provide the same type of salvation Jesus provided to the blind, lame and sick. Perhaps Jesus meant to tell John, the path for you is different, your future and your being delivered from prison may not happen in the way you expect.
Did indeed John have a crisis of faith in this set of circumstances? John had always been there for Jesus! But what about now? Why did Jesus not run to John’s rescue? Surely right?
But Jesus does not.
What do you do? What did John do when God doesn’t live up to his (our) expectations?
Our lives and questions harmonize with those of John. Jesus calls us not to the absence of pain and suffering, but to the presence and significance of meaningfulness.
Our expectations are that of peace, prosperity and escape from hardship: and this by way of rescue in this life by God’s hand. But that is not what God presents, promises or guarantees in a life given over to Jesus.
John’s story doesn’t have a bow. We want and long for one. We may, likely will not get the answers we want. We need to be ok with God’s presence, and not an answer. We were not promised answers, but we are given God’s presence: the connectedness of our relationship with the God of the universe. That relationship is far more important to God our Father than giving us any ‘mere’ answers, which are here today and gone tomorrow.
So what next?