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Jesus—The Big Disappointment!

26 May
from Google Images

from Google Images

Can you imagine the great hopes of the disciples, as they laid their cloaks before Jesus, as he entered Jerusalem during that final Passover season?[1] What joy! What triumph! The leaders of the city were upset and tried to get Jesus to quiet them down, for the whole city was caught up in the moment with cries of: “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” (Matthew 21:9), but he told them that praise is perfected when it comes from babes (Matthew 21:15-16). Yet, before the week was out the whole city would be crying “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (Mark 15:13-14). What a surprising end! What a disappointment!

Nevertheless, Jesus had been disappointing people throughout his ministry. Consider how astonished John was as he prepared the way for Jesus. Folks even thought John’s powerful evangelism indicated he was the long-awaited Messiah, but John, instead, pointed to one who would be even mightier than he, one so glorious that John wasn’t even worthy to untie his sandals that he might wash his feet (Luke 3:15-16). John pointed to one who would thoroughly judge evil with fire and gather the faithful and repentant to himself (Matthew 3:12). But, almost before John finished speaking, Jesus came to be baptized (Matthew 3:13), having no stately or royal appearance or any similar charismatic look about him that he should be desired (Isaiah 53:2). In fact, if it hadn’t been prearranged by God that the Holy Spirit would descend and remain upon Jesus, John wouldn’t have even recognized the one for whose coming he was sent to prepare (John 1:31-34). What an embarrassing scene! What a letdown!

One might think that Jesus would have gotten some support from his family or at least his mother. Admittedly, Mary had high hopes for her son. He even came through a miracle birth, and she sang of the great things God had done to her lowly estate, and at the same time sent away the proud with nothing. She sang praising God who lifted her up and cast down the mighty and how he had at last helped Israel as he had promised Abraham (Luke 1:46-55). Nevertheless, Jesus family didn’t believe in him (John 7:5), and they, including Mary, thought Jesus had become mentally unstable (Mark 3:21, 31). What an awkward scene! Miracle baby? How gauche!

John tells us that this is how the whole nation, even the whole world, treated Jesus. Imagine, the Creator was unknown to his creation, and even the people he chose out of the world to be his own nation disowned him (John 1:10-11). Nevertheless, John goes on to say that those who do receive Jesus, he gave them the authority or the right to be called the ‘children of God’ (John 1:12). One would think that these, those having the right to call themselves God’s own children, would never be disappointed in Jesus, but one would be wrong. The text says they all left Jesus to endure his fate alone (Matthew 26:56). As they witnessed his fate the next morning none would cry out “At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light…” On the contrary, although they once believed Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16), they left Jesus with their hopes crushed (Luke 24:21). What a sense of defeat! What a disillusioning scene!

Even today things aren’t much different. We pray for our dying parent or child or perhaps our dying spouse and the cold, lifeless remains of the one we had once loved and embraced is testimony to our unspeakable disappointment to our unanswered prayer. We pray for a job, or funds enough to pay the bills one more month, but we are again disappointed. Jesus doesn’t seem to be enough when we want him to be. We find we are a part of an upside down Kingdom, and we simply don’t understand how it all works. Nevertheless, if we can hold on long enough to consider John’s own cry for understanding “Are you he that should come, or should we look for another?” (Luke 7:20), we might begin to hear the sense in Jesus’ words: “the (spiritually) blind see; the (spiritually) lame walk; the (spiritually) dead are risen to life; the (spiritual) lepers are cleansed… and blessed is the one who is not offended in me!” (Luke 7:22-23).

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.[2]

________________________________________

[1] As I said HERE, this current theme about the person of Jesus is based upon the book: The Jesus Style by Gayle Erwin. They are my thoughts about his book. He may or may not agree with the impression his book has made upon me, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading what Gayle wrote and recommend his book to anyone who is looking for a good read about Jesus.

[2] Alas! And did my Savior Bleed, by Isaac Watts. Refrain: At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light…” by Ralph Hudson.

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Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Jesus

 

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