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Expect the Unexpected // Excursion 1

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance” (Hebrews 11:13a).

I was thinking it strange that Mary, the mother of Jesus would not be included in the Hall of Faith of Hebrews 11. Perhaps it is because unlike the others in Hebrews 11, she got to see what was promised to her during her lifetime. As we are about to see, Mary had unusual faith. Though a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit when the Son of God was placed in her womb! This truly was an event never to be repeated again in man’s history.

Yesterday in church I was singing “Silent Night.” As I worshipped, I imagined what it must have been like to look upon the face of this baby, knowing that He is the King of kings and Lord of lords who would save people from their sins. It was truly a miraculous birth. Jesus did not come to us in a way that any of us would have expected. We would anticipate our Lord coming to us displaying His magnificence and glory. God’s people would see Him in kingly garb, with a crown on His head, riding a white horse, and bow down and worship. Their long-expected Messiah had come to save His people from their suffering. But God had a much bigger plan that He would accomplish in His unique way. Born in a stable and laid in a lowly manger, the King of kings entered the world. When we think of a King, we think of grandeur. But just as in the way He was born, Jesus lived His life in humility and as a servant. Through this baby, the gift of salvation would be offered to all people. Through Christ, all nations would have the opportunity to worship the Lord of lords and be set free from the slavery of sin and death.

The Jews expected the Lord to come and be their ruling King, the One who would free them from the oppression of the Roman Empire. But God knew that they needed a greater freedom . . . freedom from the sin that leads to eternal death. Christ came to suffer with them, but through this suffering He would bring them eternal life. What are you hoping and expecting God to do for you today? Perhaps you are asking to be set free from pain, difficult circumstances, or a struggling relationship. Remember that “Nothing is impossible for God” (Luke 1:37). Expect the unexpected, but know that His ways are not our ways. Trust that your God is at work for your good and His glory!

Today’s Bible Reading: Isaiah 53; Matthew 1:18-25

Excerpt from Mission Impossible: A Journey of Faith with the Characters of Hebrews 11

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