Exceeding Expectation

Have you ever expected someone to do something when you wanted it done, where you wanted it done, or how you wanted it done and they didn’t meet your expectations? When your expectations are not met that is when disappointment sets in. When someone you thought would come through for you doesn’t, you feel let down. On the other hand when someone exceeds your expectations, you are ecstatic. You are blown away that the person went above and beyond what you expected them to do. You are somewhat shocked.

John paints a picture of this very scenario in chapter 11 of his gospel. Mary and Martha have sent word to Jesus that their brother, Lazarus, is sick. They write “Lord, the one you love is sick.” They expect Jesus to stop whatever He is doing and rush to heal Lazarus of his sickness. But that is not what Jesus does. In fact He does the complete opposite. John tells us “So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.” What? This is absurd. Why would Jesus stay where He was instead of rushing to Lazarus’ aide? I believe it’s because Jesus wanted to do so much more than what Mary and Martha expected Him to do. We find out later on in the story that is exactly what Jesus did. Instead of healing Lazarus like Mary and Martha expected Him to do, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Mary and Martha were expecting to see a resuscitation, but Jesus wanted to perform a resurrection.

We do the same thing in our lives. We expect God to do one thing when He wants to do something so much greater. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:20 that God can do, and wants to do, so much more than we could even ask or imagine. I heard someone say “God will either give you what you want or something greater.” God wants to go above and beyond what we want Him to do. He wants to do something so much greater than what we think He should do. He wants to exceed our expectations. When we expect a healing, He wants to raise us from the dead. When we expect a resuscitation, He wants to perform a resurrection. He doesn’t just want to meet our expectations; He wants to blow them out of the water. He wants to turn our expectation into a declaration of His glory. He wants to take our expectation and make a proclamation of His power. He wants to take our good and give us His greater.

  1. What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
  2. Are you expecting God to do one thing in your life when He wants to something so much greater?
  3. Let God turn your resuscitation into a resurrection today!
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