The people were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
- Luke 7:16-19
Jesus did amazing things, but John the Baptist was stuck in prison. Curious about who Jesus was, he sent two followers to figure out if Jesus was the long-expected Messiah.
When I came to the Messiah, John had expectations. He expected the Messiah to be a certain way. Those expectations were formed, no doubt, by life circumstances (being in jail can really clarify some of your hopes) and historical setting (nothing like being an oppressed minority to sharpen your desire for a savior). But his expectations were also formed by scripture.
Tomorrow we’ll look at how scripture was an important part of John’s expectations around Jesus, but today, since it is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it seems appropriate to think about how your personal life experiences and our time in history impact what you expect of God. Think about the racial issues in our country, the issues around immigration and health care, tensions around education (e.g., the teacher’s strike) and ask yourself how those have and do and should impact your expectations for the Rescuer. Take some time and talk directly with Jesus about the injustices you see, the needs you have, and how you want the world the change.
"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits."
- Martin Luther King, Jr. in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, December 10, 1964