Over the past few months, I have been lingering in the Gospel of Luke during my time in God’s word. This morning I read and meditated upon Luke 7:18-23. Jesus has just healed the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1-10) and raised the widow’s son from the dead (Luke 7:11-17). John the Baptist’s disciples reported these miracles to their teacher. He then sends two of his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are You the Expected One, or do we look for someone else?” This one question holds hundreds of years of longing and anticipation. This one question holds all their hope. This one question holds a radical faith that God will show up.
When John’s disciples finally ask Jesus this question, He healed many people right in front of them. People who were diseased and afflicted. People who were possessed by evil spirits. Jesus showed them that He was the Long Awaited One. Then Jesus quotes a few verses from the prophet Isaiah, who called God’s people to live with anticipation and expectation that one day, the Long Awaited One, the Expected One, would show up and bring rescue and restoration.
This morning was like Christmas in February for me. I reflected upon the carol “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”
Come Thou long expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free,
From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art,
Dear desire of every nation, Joy of every longing heart.
Born Thy people to deliver, Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal spirit, Rule in all our hearts alone,
By Thine all sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.
Here’s my question for you: are you living with a sense of expectation and excitement that Jesus can and will show up in the midst of your life (even with all of its ups and downs) to bring rescue and restoration?
Jesus, be the Joy of our longing hearts.