8.23.21 – Daily Dose of Worship. A study on Matthew. Part 199. Answers.

“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’” – Matthew 11:18

Demanding, immature children playing in the marketplace are the image Jesus has just applied to the Israelites of His generation. Children complain because the other children won’t “play the game” they want to play, or when the game is not being played exactly as they prefer. Here, Christ begins to show how the people of Israel, in this moment, are like those children. They have expectations for how a prophet should act. No matter what they see or hear, they’ll demand something different.

For example, instead of hearing John the Baptist’s words and truly taking them to heart, they accuse him of being oppressed by demons. Some demon-possessed people would isolate themselves from the community, dress strangely—if at all (Mark 5:14–15)—and even hurt themselves. John lived in the wilderness, dressed in uncomfortable camel hair clothes, and ate only locusts and wild honey, refusing to touch alcohol (Luke 1:15). By society’s standards, he was a bizarre character.

John the Baptist was not actually demon-possessed, of course. The problem was that he didn’t meet the expectations of many Israelites for the one preparing the way for the Lord. They used this as an excuse to ignore John’s harsh warnings about God’s coming judgment. Instead of repenting, they accused him of being possessed by evil spirits.

Jesus will point to a different accusation in the next verse, one exactly opposite this criticism of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:19). Matthew will report in the following chapter that Jesus was also accused of being associated with Satan.

This sentence….The problem was that he didn’t meet the expectations of many Israelites for the one preparing the way for the Lord.

Think on that for a minute. He didn’t meet the expectations. We so often put God in a box. We so often “expect” Him to react, to respond in a certain way. A way that is comfortable for us, that is expected by us. As we’ve seen in this book, Jesus was anything but ordinary. His actions and reactions literally rocked the expectations of the people of that time…and continue to astound us today.

Don’t expect the answer to be what you were thinking. That’s not quite how God works….

5 Comments

  1. Margaret K on August 22, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    That is so true. We try to make God fit our expectations. We expect Him to answer our prayers how and when we want.
    If we truly let God be God, if we surrender our will to His Will, if we let Him answer in His Way and His Timing… Just imagine what would happen…

  2. Bruce on August 23, 2021 at 6:15 am

    Expectation will often lead to disappointment

  3. Jane A on August 23, 2021 at 6:51 am

    I’ve recently learned the initially difficult concept that God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way our limited human brains hope for. In actual fact my disappointment turned to gratitude when I realised that God has something better and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. I was trusting God to get me through an exam but the day before I realised this wasn’t going to happen yet and I relaxed and learned patience. In the stressful endurance I went through I remained trusting in God. I’ve heard that before He provides us with a blessing, He requires an act of faith. So I believe that He’s strengthened my faith through this process of painful endurance.

    • Dave Pettigrew on September 18, 2021 at 10:31 am

      Jane, thanks for the comment. So very true. Appreciate you sharing!

  4. Peggy F on August 23, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    Putting our expectations in people, and what ” we” think God ” should” do , will always bring , disappointment, discouragement, dejection, despair…oh the d’s………..I” ve been to them all……until we learn to only hope in God’s word.

    Psalm 31: 14,15 But as for me. I trust in You, ” O Lord, I say, “You are my God, My times are in Your Hand, ”

    Psalm 71:14 I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.

    Psalm 42:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?…Hope in God , for I shall again praise Him for the help of His Presence.”

    Amen!!!!!

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