False Expectations — A LifeWords Devotion - Hope 103.2

False Expectations — A LifeWords Devotion

The truth is that it is impossible to please everyone. It is far more important to strive to please God, than it is to try and please every individual.

By David ReayThursday 31 Dec 2020LifeWords DevotionalsDevotionsReading Time: 2 minutes

Luke 7:31-35

“To what can I compare the people of this generation?” Jesus asked. “How can I describe them? They are like children playing a game in the public square. They complain to their friends,

‘We played wedding songs,
    and you didn’t dance,
so we played funeral songs,
    and you didn’t weep.’

For John the Baptist didn’t spend his time eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He’s possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man, on the other hand, feasts and drinks, and you say, ‘He’s a glutton and a drunkard, and a friend of tax collectors and other sinners!’ But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” (NLT)

There is no pleasing some of us. We expect certain things of others simply because we get an advantage if those expectations are met. We insist they help us meet our own ends. And so we might collect and discard “friends” as they fail to meet our expectations of them. They didn’t play our game.

And we see here that we can do the same with Jesus. He points out that it is impossible to meet the many and varied expectations others had of him. He uses John the Baptist as an example. That man was austere and severe to the point of being anti-social. So he was rejected by those who figured that was not what they wanted or expected.

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Then Jesus comes along and is very social, very gentle when it comes to associating with outcasts. And so he was rejected by those who had a very different expectation of how a Messiah should behave. You just can’t please everyone!

There are some who expect Jesus to be the gentle Jesus meek and mild of childhood stories. And others who expect him to be the moral guardian who sternly sweeps clean the accumulated mess of fallen human society. Some stress the fact he reaches out to sinners; others stress the fact that he calls sinners to repent.

Jesus doesn’t have to meet our own expectations of him. He does not march to the beat of our drum. He is firm, he is gentle. He is demanding, he is gracious. He gives us a kick in the pants and an arm around the shoulder. He is not to be reduced to a pale reflection of our own selves or some genie in a bottle who rushes to meet our every desire. Our task in life is not to demand he pleases us but that we please him.