From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Matthew 16:21-22 NIV

The Jews of Jesus’ day were in a state of high expectation. They were eagerly anticipating the arrival of their Messiah—a Conquering King who would right all wrongs, deliver them from their enemies and put the world in right order.

What they got instead was a Suffering Servant who died a criminal’s death on a rugged cross wearing a crown of thorns.

Of course, they had no way of knowing that His sacrifice of love was the divine plan to deliver them and forever unite His children and His church in right relationship with God!

We live today in another season of high expectation and anticipation. We’re expecting Jesus to return in clouds of glory with a sword in His hand to deliver us again—this time to rescue us from persecution, to right every wrong, to whip our enemies into shape and to establish His reign here on earth. We are again looking for the Conquering King with His conquering army who will make the world look the way we think it should look.

As is always the case with God, we really have no idea what Jesus’ return will actually look like. But we can be sure of one thing—

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Jesus will indeed return one day to establish His rule and reign here on earth. And He will  come with His conquering army—His Bride, the Church.

But will He come wielding a sword like a conquering superhero?

Or will He come in another humble act of love—with His Bride Church marching alongside Him in deep humility and the fire of His love?

What are your own expectations of Jesus in this season?

How can you build the faith to follow if He leads you to a place you don’t expect?

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