What Are Your Expectations
What Are Your Expectations?
Text: Luke 24.13-35
"Hope deferred makes the heart sick." - Proverbs 13.12
Introduction: Have you ever had your hopes shattered? "Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Have you ever had your hopes shattered by God? We all have certain expectations of God and how we expect Him to act toward us based upon our knowledge of Him. However, serious problems arise when God does not act as we expect Him to. Job ran into this great difficulty and got to the point that he wished he had never been born. He lost everything and suffered greatly, but found victory only when he saw God and understood Him to be who He really is.
I want to take you first to Luke’s Prologue. We want to look at Luke’s purpose for writing his Gospel (Luke 1.1-4). The purpose is “that you might have certainty of the things you have been taught.” It is important that we understand this as Christians because we have many things that happen to us, things that if we do not truly understand God, have the potential to destroy us in a despondency of doubt. I want to speak to you under the topic: What Are Your Expectations? In doing so I want us to see that the only triumph over the despondency of doubt is the Resurrected Lord. In doing so, we will consider these two disciples and 1st – their expectations that led to a despondency of doubt, 2nd – the Fallacy of their expectations and 3rd – the triumph over the despondency of doubt.
I. Their Expectations
Luke’s narrative is like a good novel where the author allows the reader to be privy to information that the characters of the story do not know yet, but find out as the story goes on.
A. In verses 14 & 15, three words “talked together”, “communed together” and “reasoned” indicate that they really have something to talk about. They are in deep and intense discussion. What are they talking about? Our text tells us “all these things which had happened.” Things seem to be just impersonal and common until they involve us. It is like that saying, “It is a recession if your neighbor loses his job. It becomes a depression when you lose your job.” It is when things become personal that they become important.
B. What are “these things that had happened?” They are events that unfolded that totally changed their lives in almost an instance. To truly understand these life changing events lets follow the narrative. We are introduced to a stranger that joins them on the journey. Luke describes it this way – “Jesus Himself drew near.”
C. We are introduced to a stranger that comes on the scene and accompanies them on their journey. They do not know Him because they are kept from recognizing Him, but we know him as Jesus, the Risen Lord. When Jesus comes on the scene, in verse 17, He questions them about their conversation:
17 “What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” One version states it this way, 17 “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad.
The point is that they were obviously distressed over “these things”, events that “had happened” that so greatly affected them. We all have “these things”, don’t we? We all have these things which “have happened”, don’t we? It is these things which happen that generally cause us great stress and even a despondency of doubt, if not properly viewed and dealt with.
A friend of mine always prefaces what God has done in his life – “It just so happened.” That is his way of saying, “Nothing just so happens, but all things are graciously given by a loving Father’s hand.”
As the story continues, one of the two, Cleopas, tells Jesus what events have transpired that has stressed them out. Verse 18-20. When we get to verse 20, we see what was the crux of the matter - "And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him." The death of Jesus caused the despondency of doubt for them. But why? Because these men had held to an expectation about Jesus that was now destroyed.
II. The Fallacy of Their Expectations
A. Verse 21 – "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done." The key phrase here is, “But we trusted…” The word translated trusted means to hope or expect. What they are saying is, “But we expected all these things that happened to be different than they were.
B. What were they really expecting? “That it had been He which should have redeemed Israel.” Well you say, “Preacher, what is wrong with that? Isn’t Jesus the Redeemer?” Remember, the disciples asking Jesus, when are you going to start your kingdom? And James and John asking to sit on the right and left of His throne?
The common belief was that the Messiah would come and redeem Israel not from sin, but from the Gentile nations. These two believed that Jesus was there to put down the Roman government and establish and everlasting kingdom in Jerusalem.
C. There was such hope and expectation. He had only a few days ago been received in Jerusalem, just as Zechariah had prophesied, to the shouts of Hallelujah. But now, He is dead and it has been three days. We had reports of an empty grave, but no one has seen him. The result of their expectations is now great despondency. Their entire lives died with Jesus on that cross. Can you imagine their grief and sorrow? Their hope and expectations were in a Jesus of their own making and not the true Christ. We all have these same type of events that test our expectations and any hope or expectation not founded in the true Christ will result in despondency.
But, there is a true hope and we find it only in the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ!
III. The Triumph
A. Verse 25 – Jesus now speaks to them. He addresses them, “O, fools, (literally You without understanding!) and slow of heart to believe…” The Lord really gets to the heart of the matter: their problem is in what they hoped. They were believing what was the common thought of the day concerning the coming of the Messiah. In our day, it is no different. We are inundated with Postmodern thought that there is no truth and that everybody’s ideas are equal in truth. I have seen it even in churches – “Johnny, tell us what this verse means to you.” We should not be concerned what the Bible means to us. We should be concerned what it means! Now, that is an important difference.
B. Jesus scolds them for not believing what the prophets had spoken. What did the prophets speak? “Thus says the Lord…” This is God’s word! The reason they became despondent in doubt was because their expectations were not met in Jesus. The reason is because they had faulty expectations based on the reasoning and wisdom of men and not the Word of God. If you have your hopes and expectations anywhere else but in the True, Resurrected, Living Lord, then you are destined to be despondent in doubt.
C. He then begins to explained and expounded everything concerning Him, not by the opinions of Joel Olsteen or Oprah Winfrey, but by the Scriptures! The Word of God is the truth. When they reach their destination they compel Jesus to stay with them and when He breaks the bread, their eyes were opened and they knew Him. An amazing thing now happens. Instead of being despondent in doubt, they say to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” When the true Christ comes into your presence, all doubt is removed and the heart is ignited with a fire that cannot be extinguished.
They immediately return to Jerusalem and tell them of the Triumphant Risen Lord
Conclusion: What are your Expectations? Are they faulty, laid up in a false Jesus, a different Jesus than the one in the Bible? Then you are destined to end up in a despondency of doubt and eventually hell. Put your trust and expectation upon the Jesus of whom the Bible speaks and He will ignite a fire in your heart that will never go out.