What Did You Expect?

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Don't let your expectations get in the way of God's promises!

What Did You Expect?
This passage takes place right after Mary Magdalene and some women find the empty tomb and go and tell the disciples and nobody believes that he’s risen.
The verse before this says Peter went into the tomb and then left wondering what had happened.
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him,and he disappeared from their sight.”
The first thing I think of is how ridiculous it is that NOBODY either remembered or believed what Jesus said about dying and coming back.
Literally everything that Jesus said would happen, happened. Including Peter denying Jesus.
Yet nobody seemed to believed the part about dying and being raised from the dead.
So here you have these two men. Cleopas and somebody else.
They are leaving Jerusalem to head to Emmaus and Jesus shows up.
It says they were, “kept from recognizing Him.”
Clearly Jesus is wanting to teach them something without them being distracted by who it is.
So Jesus asks them what they are talking about.
Then it says their faces were “downcast”. They were disappointed. Why?
“...but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”
That line just jumped off the page when I read that.
You see hope is beautiful thing.
It can also be a dangerous thing.
Because with hope comes expectations.
You see when we hope for something we usually have a certain expectation for how that is going to go.
And when it doesn’t go that way our faith gets shaken.
Cleopas had a certain expectation of what was going to happen and it didn’t go that way.
But what kills me he’s leaving and it’s still technically the third day.
If I’m a disciple I’m staying until well past midnight just to be sure.
And the fact that when they see Jesus’ body isn’t there, nobody thinks that He ACTUALLY might have risen from the dead?
So what I feel like the Holy Spirit was telling me is how many people’s faith have been shaken because when it comes to following Jesus, their expectations of life didn’t match the reality of the world they’re living in?
How many times have we HOPED for something and it didn’t pan out the way we thought?
I’ve had a few of those times in my life.
God called me into the ministry at 20 years old.
I KNEW He was calling me to be a full-time youth pastor.
I thought it would take 2 or 3 years.
It took 8!
Kate and I wanted to start a family.
We thought it would take a few months maybe.
It took two and a half years.
I got laid off from my job.
I hoped and thought it would only be a few weeks.
It was a year and a half.
Did God forget about me for a while?
Did he leave me for a while?
No He was walking with me the whole time.
I just couldn’t see Him because I was stuck on MY expectations.
Don’t let YOUR expectations get in the way of God’s promises.
Our job is trust God.
Trust that He’s in control.
That even though it may not end up the way you thought. He’s got you.
It wasn’t until Jesus broke the bread that they realized who He was.
Breaking bread was something familiar that they’ve seen Jesus do.
Sometimes in our time of struggle God does something in our life that reminds us He’s there.
Maybe it’s something we’ve seen him do before.
Like showing you a scripture you’ve read before but now it takes on new meaning.
Mine was Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Or maybe it’s something different.
A blessing of some sort that he reminds us that I’ve been walking with you this whole time.
Like someone who doesn’t even know you’re struggling financially and they bless you with some money.
Those are God’s ways of saying, “I’ve been walking with you this whole time. Trust me.”
I can’t help but think of Joseph when I think of this issue.
It took 13 years before he was second in command over Egypt.
He NEVER stopped trusting God.
We may not have Jesus physically walking with us but we have the Holy Spirit who’s with us 24/7.
And the only reason why that’s possible is because we serve a risen king. A God who is alive today.
Because Jesus rose on the third day and defeated death, hell, and the grave.
And he’s been walking along aside us ever since!
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