It’s Not What I Expected

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Isaiah 53:1-12


I.         Perhaps you are wondering

            A.        Where are the special Christmas displays and decorations?

            B.        How come the bulletin doesn’t mention the Christ’s birth?

            C.        This is not what I expected!

II.        Naaman - II Kings 5:1-19

            A.        Naaman was expecting Elisha to come out of his house, wave his arms and chant magical incantations.

            B.        Instead, he was told by Elisha’s servant to go take a bath!

            C.        It just wasn’t what he expected!

            D.        But, do you know, it required trusting God instead of himself.

            E.        Isa. 55:8-9 - God’s methods are not our methods

III.       Samuel - I Sam. 16:1-7

            A.        Samuel didn’t understand why God didn’t select Jesse’s eldest son. He was tall and handsome.

            B.        God looks at the inner man, not the outer.

            C.        Lk. 16:15 - What man esteems, God despises

            D.        I Pet. 3:4 - It is the hidden qualities God desires.

            E.        God doesn’t need the bold, great leaders of this world.

                        1.         Moses was selected to lead the nation of Israel, yet he was a murderer (Exodus 2:11-12) and a poor speaker - Exodus 4:10-11

                        2.         Gideon was the youngest son of a poor family (Judges 6:15), he was nervous and unsure of the actions he should take, often asking for proof. Yet, God called him a valiant warrior - Judges 6:12

IV.      The rich ruler - Lk. 18:18-30

            A.        He wanted eternal life, but the answer was not what he expected.

            B.        God wants to be first in our lives - Lk. 10:27. Nothing comes before Him, especially the wealth of this world.

            C.        Here was a man who was invited to be an apostle of Christ and he turned him down!

            D.        It is not saying wealth is bad, but to look carefully at our priorities.

            E.        Many seek God, but the answers are not what they are looking for

                        1.         I Cor. 1:18-29 - Miracles or mighty logic doesn’t save us. Salvation is so simple that we can’t say it is something we have done.

                        2.         I Cor. 3:18-21 - Man’s wisdom is foolishness, so man can only glory in God.

V.        The voice of God - I Kings 19:9-13

            A.        God was not where we would expect him.

            B.        Too often we come to God with preconceived notions. We try to pigeon-hole the creator of this universe!

VI.      Jesus - Isa. 53:1-12

            A.        When God came to live among us, there was nothing attractive about him.

            B.        He was born as a child of the most humble means.

                        1.         The world takes this time of the year to marvel at this paradox

            C.        Yet, the Bible doesn’t emphasis this. We are not told to honor His birth, but his death.

                        1.         His birth teaches us humility

                        2.         But His death teaches us salvation

                        3.         The Christ did not come to this world to live but to die. And by the greatest paradox of all, by that death we can live.

            D.        We don’t remember Jesus once or twice a year

                        1.         Always His great sacrifice on our behalf is before us. I Cor. 11:23-26

                        2.         As Christians have done from the beginning, we remember his death each Sunday by partaking of His memorial feast - Acts 20:7, Acts 2:42

            E.        This is the reason for coming to worship this day

                        1.         Not to remember His coming, but to remember His going.

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