Jesus Shatters Our Expectations
Have you been watching the Winter Olympics? I’ve watched a little and sadly was watching when U.S. skier and defending gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin slipped and missed a gate in the women’s giant slalom event. “The agony of defeat.” The Olympics are filled with drama - huge highs and lows; none bigger than the U.S. hockey team’s win against the powerful team from the U.S.S.R. in the 1980 games. That was considered by many, including Sports Illustrated, as the greatest sports moment of the 20th century! No doubt that team far exceeded expectations.
Jesus exceeded expectations again and again in His ministry, especially in John 6 where He performed two spectacular miracles and famously declared, “I am the bread of life.” In fact, in this chapter, there are at least 3 Ways Jesus Exceeds Our Expectations.
1. Jesus shatters our pint-sized expectations when we fully commit to Him what we have already been given! (John 6:8-13)
It is mind-blowing that Jesus was able to feed thousands of people with just five loaves of bread and two fishes that came from a young boy willing to offer his lunch to Jesus; and people had far more than a bite of food, they had “all they wanted.” Before Jesus fed everyone, some of his disciples had serious doubts they could feed that many people. Do you know why? They were asking “what can I do” instead of “what can God do?”
Imagine what God can do in your life when you allow Him to use what He has already given you; when you relinquish control of your time, your talents, your treasures? Maybe, like his disciples, you have some doubts that Jesus can do much with what little you have to offer Him. You may wrongly think your talents don’t matter, your tithe is too small to make an impact, your time is too limited to make a difference for Christ’s sake. You’re looking at it from your perspective, not His. He can take your pint-sized expectations and expand them exponentially if you would simply be willing to give Him what He has already graciously given you and allow Him to use it for His glory!
2. Jesus always shows up in a big way during the fierce storms of life. (John 6:18-21)
After Jesus had fed the masses, they wanted to make him their king. But Jesus knew that was not God’s plan. He retreated into the nearby mountains while his disciples headed across the Sea of Galilee to their next stop in Capernaum. On the way, a fierce storm blew in and they spent the next several hours rowing against the winds and waves. When they were exhausted, Jesus showed up, walking on water!
18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. John 6:18-21
Have you ever found yourself in a place like that in life? Battling against a fierce storm… maybe an illness, a loss, loneliness, depression, a marriage or family crisis? In those storms, it is easy to find ourselves exhausted and ready to give up. In those moments, expect Jesus to show up, in a big way!
At first, when the disciples saw Jesus, they didn’t recognize Him? Do you know why? Because they weren’t looking for Him! Expect Jesus to show up when you need Him most. That doesn’t mean things will always go the way you think they should; God often allows us to go through fierce storms in life to test us, or to reveal His goodness, His graciousness and His glory. But you can count on Him showing up in a big way…. and when He does, like His disciples, welcome Him into your boat and He can take you out of the storm to exactly where He wants you to be! (Isaiah 43:2)
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” John 6:26-27
They wanted another meal, but Jesus was about to exceed their expectations, again….
3) Jesus is more than a miracle worker; He is the Bread of Life! (John 6:26-27;36)
Jesus knew that many were following Him, not because they believed He was the Messiah, but because they wanted something from Him, like a free meal. But Jesus was ready to provide far more when He made clear… 36 …“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:36
This was a spectacular declaration and with it Jesus reveals:
He is an essential for life, just like bread is an essential food.
He provides for far more than our physical needs, He provides eternal life!
He is the covenant God of Israel… “I AM…”
He invites all to come to Him and believe.
He offers to satisfy our spiritual hunger and thirst. (Matthew 5:6)
Sadly, despite all Jesus did and said, many would turn their back on Him, choosing not to believe He was “the bread of life.” What about you? What do you believe about Jesus? For much more, click here to listen to: Light in the Darkness - Part 6 - How Jesus Exceeds Our Expectations.