So What Can You Expect From Jesus
Text: Mark 6:45-52
Proposition: Belief in Jesus should never be without its expectations of what Jesus will do, is doing or has done because of who you are to Him as His disciple.
Introduction: Managing your expectations, you’ve heard that phrase before, sometimes as a caution like when you were sure the Oilers were going to go all the way. Managing your expectations usually has the inference of not getting your hopes too high, trying to not to develop unrealistic expectations. I remember a time when I was about 15, a friend of mine and I went to the carnival that had just come to town. As we wandered around the grounds we came to this tent that had a sign on it saying, ‘The Amazing Randy’, watch as 20,000 volts pass through his body, watch as he lays down on a bed of a 1000 sharpened spikes, watch as he swallows a sword. So we bought tickets from this guy in a dirty T shirt and went in to watch. In about a minute in comes the Amazing Randy. It’s the guy in the T shirt that we got our tickets from. Without a word he goes over to this chair, flips a switch and there’s this great buzzing sound. It lasts for about 15 seconds. Then he gets up goes over to the bed of spikes lays down on them, gets up and puts a two foot sword down his throat. Managing your expectations has both an upper and lower aspect, in other words sometimes it’s not that we expect too much, it’s that we expect too little. I think this true for relationships and for life choices of all sorts but I think this is especially true for our relationship with God. When it comes to Jesus we need to manage our expectations because almost always they are too low. Let’s have a look at a passage of Scripture that brings this truth home through a very familiar story. Turn with me to Mark 6:45-52.
I. You Can Expect That Jesus Will Cause You Trouble. Let me explain what I mean by that. If your child is in the habit of running into the street after some soccer ball, you are going to cause him trouble. If your child starts to lie to you and you see it happening again and again, you are going to cause her trouble. If your wife or husband begins to flirt with others, you’re going cause them trouble! Did you think that when you are making bad choices, that Jesus, who knows you best and loves you most, is just going to let you go play in traffic, lie to Him and flirt with idols? What you can expect and should manage your expectations accordingly, is that Jesus will cause you trouble. Have a look at the story before us, the feeding of the 5000 has just finished and Jesus immediately sends the disciples in a new direction. Look at verse 45, “Immediately He made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He sent the multitude away.” No after glow party on how they just fed this impossible mob, Jesus immediately, without explanation, sends the disciples into trouble. That something was wrong becomes evident in verse 52, “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.” Were they congratulating themselves on a job well done, what did they expect from Jesus, what did they think not just how Jesus did this replication of bread and fish but Who Jesus must be to have done it? Whatever their conclusions the truth is there for us to see, they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened. So look at what happens next. The disciples head out onto the Sea of Galilee in the dark and run into a storm. They row and row and manage to get about three or four miles after rowing for about 7 hours. You could say that the disciples were in trouble, you could say they are there because Jesus sent them there, you could say they are exactly where Jesus wants them to be because something has to change in their hearts. II.You Can Expect That Jesus Never Takes His Eyes Off Of You. Are you familiar with Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” I would say that He can do that because He never takes His eyes off of you. Look at what happens in Mark 6:46-48, “And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray. Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them.” We know it is about 2 in the morning, maybe even later, there is a storm and the disciples have rowed about four miles into it. Jesus has been praying, asking the Father for direction, speaking to the Father about what Jesus knew regarding the hardness of His disciples hearts, seeking to be close to Father even as Jesus lived to make intercession for them. So what can you expect from Jesus? You can expect that He never gives up on you, that He can see you and see into you. You can expect that He will do whatever He thinks He needs to do to soften a hardened heart even if that means sending you into trouble where you will discover an end to yourself. You can’t out row the wind, the stubbornness of your will is not your salvation, it’s the brokenness of your will that He waits to use. Even as you fail Jesus never takes His eyes off of you. So what can you expect of Jesus?
III. You Can Expect That Jesus Has and Is and Will Come To You. He has come to you in the incarnation where God became human through the virgin birth by Mary. He has come that you would see not just Him but also the Father. He came that you would see and know God, see and know the sin that is resident in each human being. To see and know that sin distorts everything and is a house of mirrors that distorts who you are, who God is and what eternity is. Jesus came to take away sin, He is the door out of the house of mirrors, He is the way to the truth of what it will take to eliminate sin’s barrier between you and God. By His body, by His blood He came to absorb the wrath of God against you for your sin. Holiness has the desire for perfect purity, sin in you is set in the opposite direction. God loves you but has a wrath against sin, even your sin. Oh if there was only some way that sin could be separated from the sinner, a sin within you that will certainly call upon you the wrath of a holy God? It will be a wrath that doesn’t end in your death but has an eternity of duration after death. Oh but there is, it’s why Jesus has come, He is the sinless Son of God who alone can take away, absorb that wrath that you would have life and have it abundantly. You can expect that this is why Jesus has come, it is for this reason He endured the cross, not any other lesser reason. He came to die for you. And you can expect that not only has Jesus come but that He is coming to you. Look once more at our story, “Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by.” What astonishes you the most, that He walked on the stormy waves or that He would have passed them by? The first describes the truth that what is impossible for the disciples to overcome is for Jesus as simple as walking is to us. He who can bend the laws of physics multiplying molecules of bread and fish flesh, commanding properties of liquid to act as though solid, it is He that can also bend the hardened hearts of men. Of course, as God He can do this and infinitely more than you can even this very moment imagine. But that He would have passed them by, how do we reconcile this? It was the same as that day on the road to Emmaus Luke 24, when He would have kept on going if they had not asked even begged him to come in. What’s the point? The point is that Jesus is come to change a hardened heart and it begins with you now responding to His presence before you. To the disciples that night it was a terrifying sight, they thought it was a ghost coming straight towards them and there was no where they could go. They cried out, in typical understatement it says, “for they all saw Him and were troubled.” When Jesus comes close He comes to rescue not recriminate, He comes to reassure not terrify. “But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” Verse 51 says, “Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled.” In Matthews account 14:33 it says, “Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.” That’s what the bending and breaking of a hardened heart looks like. That’s what you can expect of Jesus, that He will draw you to a place of seeing Him, perhaps even being terrified of what you see and yet when you invite Him He will draw you to a place of worship. What you ought NOT expect is that He expects nothing of you. What you ought NOT expect is that Jesus is good with a people of a hardened heart. Manage your expectations. So what do expect of Jesus?