John And Jesus: On Expectations

I read a chapter of “Crash the Chatterbox” by Steven Furtick recently, and it writes about the expectation gap.

I liked it a lot, so much, I want to share my takeaway as a blog post.

This is a story between John the Baptist and Jesus Christ the Messiah.

John expected a Messiah to save by a heroic act of swift and severe moves.1 You know, like how Marvel superheroes bash through the battles and win the game kinda deal.

But instead, he heard of a Jesus who showed up as a Man, meek and lowly, who won’t even break a reed.2

Turned out he who announced the coming of the Messiah3 didn’t even get to see Him again. Rather, not only was he imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, he was later beheaded.4

What would John the Baptist have felt while being imprisoned? Disappointed expectations? Chronic discouragement?

At that time, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the One?”5

It wouldn’t be a surprise if John was expecting Jesus to do something such that he would be freed from the prison. After all, this is the Messiah we are talking about!

Jesus, having met John’s messengers, told them to reply of His acts.6 His acts of opening blind eyes, healing the lame, etc. (By the way, no prophet before Jesus opened blind eyes, so opening blind eyes is a sure sign of a Messiah, because Someone greater than all prophets had arrived.)

Then, on their way back to John, might have the messengers heard what was recorded of Jesus’ accolades of John the Baptist?7 Jesus honored John and endorsed John’s calling as a prophet heralding the coming Messiah.

Jesus called John the greatest prophet.8

Why is John the Baptist the greatest prophet? He didn’t part the Red Sea like Moses.9 He didn’t call down fire like Elijah.10 He didn’t slain an army of enemies like David.11 He didn’t do any of the mighty acts of the previous prophets.

So why?

Could it be because he fulfilled his calling as a guide, one who points people to Jesus?

You see, John the Baptist was the first and only prophet of his time who pointed to Jesus Christ as the Messiah in history until Jesus’ work on the cross was completed.

The point I’m making is this:

If God always met your expectations, He cannot exceed your expectations.

You don’t think the story ends just like that for John, do you?

What do you think Jesus did which super-exceed the expectations of John?

We know that John died before he could meet Jesus again. No, Jesus didn’t break John out of the jail.

Jesus died an even more excruciating death than John. Jesus died on the cross, but He rose! And then, He ascended unto Heaven.

They finally met in Paradise. Guess what Jesus would have said to John? I surmise: “Good and faithful servant.”

This time, their conversation is not through messengers.

This time, their presence is not limited by physical distance.

This time, they meet, face… to… face.

That’s between John and Jesus.

As for me, when I’m writing this to you, I’m preaching to myself at the same time. I need to be reminded that “Christ in me” means all my hopes and dreams… well, all my expectations will turn out to be good. They will, because either Daddy God will meet them, or exceed them, because He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.12

What about you? What is your story? When is a time you know the Lord exceeded your expectation for the better?


1. Bible, Luke 3:17
2. Bible, Matthew 12:20
3. Bible, Luke 3:16-17, 21; John 1:29-34
4. Bible, Matthew 12:3-12, Luke 3:19 
5. Bible, Luke 7:19 NIV
6. Bible, Luke 7:22-23
7. Bible, Luke 7:24-35
8. Bible, Luke 7:28
9. Bible, Exodus 14:27
10. Bible, 2 Kings 1:10
11. Bible, 1 Chronicles 19:18
12. Bible, Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

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