One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and started out… And all the people in the region of the Gerasenes begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone, for a great wave of fear swept over them… On the other side of the lake the crowds welcomed Jesus, because they had been waiting for him… So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
Luke 8:11, 37, 40, 9:6 (NLT)
Isn’t it rather amazing that on one side of the lake, Jesus was feared? He performed one miracle and it terrified the villagers so much, they asked him to leave. It had been an unscheduled stop, so I don’t think that Jesus and his disciples were too put out by the request.
While on the other side of the lake, the villagers had been expecting Jesus. They were waiting. Anticipating. Jesus and his crew were able to travel to the surrounding towns performing miracle after miracle.
What was the difference?
Expectation. Where there was anticipation of Jesus’ arrival, great things were bound to happen. Where he hadn’t been previously announced, he was able to do nothing.
When you go to church, is it just another day? Another thing to check off your schedule? Or do you show up expecting to meet Jesus? Do you arrive in anticipation of what he is able to do?
I tell my teams of church volunteers all the time to come expecting every Sunday. I can’t tell you what you need to expect, only you can decide that. The woman who had been bleeding for more than a decade expected healing when she simply touched something that was touching Jesus. Jairus expected that his daughter would be healed if Jesus could only come home with him. Even the demons who had held a man captive in his own body expected something of Jesus. They all expected and they all received.
If we expect nothing of Jesus, we don’t have the right to be disappointed when nothing happens. Whether you need healing, breakthrough, or simple affirmation, expect it. Never once did Jesus turn someone down when they needed something, but they key is that they all approached him with a request. He never pontificated about how his great power and grace healed, but proclaimed that their own faith made them well.
What do you expect from Jesus today?
Daily Bible reading: Judges 8-9, Luke 8:22-56