“Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him.” Matthew 26:3-4 NIV

Some of Jesus’ biggest antagonists in the Bible were the Pharisees. The Pharisees (or teachers of the law) were the people who knew scripture the BEST. They had devoted their lives to studying Biblical law. They were expecting a messiah (Savior King) like all of the other Israelites. But when Jesus came, they rejected Him. Why?

The Pharisees expected a conqueror. When Jesus came in peace–as a suffering Servant-King, they couldn’t comprehend how this man could possibly be their Messiah. Jesus didn’t live up to their expectations. So, these chief priests and teachers of the law wanted Jesus dead. Instead of changing their hopes, they wanted to change Jesus. Spoiler alert: They end up killing Jesus, the true Messiah, because The Man that came didn’t match the man they expected.

Like the Pharisees, often we have very specific expectations. When things don’t turn out how we hoped or expected, our whole world turns upside down. We believe we are right about a matter, and when evidence presents itself otherwise–we reject it as impossible or even crazy. Instead of humbling ourselves and following Jesus, we end up going down a self-centered path because we cannot admit we might have been wrong.

As children of God, we need to be fiercely humbled by the Holy Spirit. We must recognize when we are wrong, say sorry, and investigate other answers. We are called to give over our plans to the Lord in humility, instead of getting wrecked every time something doesn’t turn out how we thought. None of us actually know what lies around the corner, shall we stop pretending that we do?


What have you received recently that didn’t match your expectations?
What did you learn from that experience?
How do we try to fit Jesus into our lives, instead of trying to fit our life into Jesus?

By Ellie Heethuis | Byron Center, MI

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Posted in Devotionals