Great Expectations

Jon Burgess

16Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
18Jesus came and told his disciples,“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

The disciples were looking into the eyes of the One they had just seen tortured to death a mere 40 days earlier "but some of them doubted!" This doubt the Risen Savior saw in the eyes of his world changers did not cause Him to change His mind. Jesus didn't begin to back peddle and second guess His decision in trusting the spread of the Gospel to these eleven men. In fact, Jesus doubled down and made it plain just what He expected of His followers from here on out. They weren't just supposed to make converts, but make disciples. They weren't given some authority, but the same authority as Jesus Himself. They weren't going to baptize people in the names of Peter, Paul or Mary or any denomination but in the Trinity- The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit. They weren't supposed to teach their disciples their ideas, opinions, or pet theologies, but were to teach all Jesus had commanded them. Last of all and most of all these great expectations would be impossible to fulfill apart from working in communion with a Great God! Jesus reminded them that He would be with them always because they would always need to be with Him!


I've heard it said, "people can't live up to the expectations they don't know have been set for them". I remember many points of frustrations in various jobs where I was called on the carpet for something I didn't know was expected of me. Now, as someone who is overseeing so many amazing people on our New Hope Oahu staff the question is whether or not I'm doing the same to them. Everyone is a "fill-in-the-blank" kind of person. If we see a blank in life, in relationships, in expectations on the job we will fill it with something. If we haven't been told what to fill it with then we will come up with our own answer. This is not the fault of the employee but a lack of communication on the part of the employer. Thankfully, Jesus didn't leave us with an Ad-Lib Christianity where we just put whatever random words we want into our job description. No, He laid it out in black and white and underlined it in the red of His blood on the Cross. We are to expect that He will exceed our expectations as we live out His expectations for disciples of Jesus Christ.


I want to hear Your "well done" when I see You face to face one day. I want to thank You for the promise that You are with me always. I'm so glad You use me even when I have doubts about what You are asking me to do. You have always exceeded my expectations and my heart is awash with gratefulness at the adventure of faith You have called me to. Help me to do the same for those You have called me to serve. Let the expectations be clear so we can make as many disciples of Christ as possible before your return.

Devotions for November 28

Matthew 28
1 Thessalonians 1,2,3

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