Basing Expectations on Truth
Today’s Scripture: “But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.” Mark 9:32
Forming expectations on the basis of preconceived ideas is a rather common practice—even the disciples missed important truth in this way. Christ told them repeatedly that He was going to be crucified and raised to life after three days. Their physical ears heard His words, but the message wasn’t able to penetrate their hearts and minds.
Although they were convinced that He was the Messiah, their assumptions about how and when His kingdom would come kept them from hearing Christ’s “alternate plan.” They were looking for a Savior who would overthrow Rome and set up His kingdom on earth during their lifetime; then they would rule with Him. Jesus’ words of death and resurrection were so contrary to what they anticipated that they just couldn’t accept them. Since they hadn’t understood the promise of the resurrection, when their Messiah died, their dreams were dashed. They quickly descended into the despair of hopelessness and unbelief (Luke 24:10-11).
From our present perspective of knowing the outcome and purpose of Jesus’ first visit to earth, we might wonder, How could they be so dense? But before we judge them too harshly, let’s remember that we, too, often have predetermined ideas about how God should work in our lives and in the world.
God’s ways won’t always match our mindset because He works from an eternal perspective and we often see only the immediate. We must remember that His ways are best. Just think, if He had followed the disciples’ plans, there would be no forgiveness of sins. Let’s drop our expectations and trust Him.