17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.
The events of the previous days had clearly left our Emmaus bound travellers downcast, disappointed and discouraged. Their experience of Jesus’ death did not match with their expectations of who Jesus was.
They expected a Messiah to rescue Israel, they experienced a powerful prophet who was now dead
They expected freedom and liberty, they experienced the disappointment that the one they thought would bring the freedom and liberty was now gone
So often our experiences don’t match up with our expectations.
It’s true of our expectations of ourselves, other people and even God. When our experiences of others and God don’t match our expectations, we tend to lower our expectations to the level of our experience.
For example, the travellers to Emmaus:
Expectation: Jesus is Messiah
Experience: Jesus is dead
So, the expectations they had of Jesus were lowered to the level of their experience: because Jesus is dead, he can’t have been the messiah: He was just a powerful prophet
It’s in this void between experience and expectation that disappointment, discouragement and despondency start to grow
Questions for the day:
Where have you lowered your expectation of people of God based on your experience?
Do you doubt God’s power and character based upon your experience?
Are your expectations of others reasonable?
What are your expectations of God?
If you can, spend some time considering these questions today