There is nothing more toxic to our faith than when we base our faith on misinformed expectations. More precisely, holding God to expectations that He never intended for us to form; expectations God never committed Himself to fulfill.
They say that “confession is good for the soul.” OK, here’s my confession to you: Every week, when I open the Bible and begin to teach, I keenly, keenly feel my inadequacy. That’s not a me-trying-to-sound-humble statement; that’s a me-being-brutally-honest statement. A true statement, an honest admission, because I know that each and every person who listens to my voice and hears my words is experiencing their own challenges, asking their own questions, working through their own difficulties.
Consequently, there is so much that I would like to tell you, but literally so little time. How much can we accomplish in less than an hour together each week?
I am certainly not alone in my frustration. I take great comfort that Jesus felt it too, keenly so. Which is precisely what He told His disciples in one of the landmark chapters in all of the Bible. Yet, ironically, it’s a chapter that is so often overlooked as to its significance and importance.
If I were to ask you to tell me your favorite chapter in the Bible, or the one that brings you the greatest level of comfort, I doubt you’d say John 16. But for me, without a doubt, I’d say John 16. And it’s in this chapter that Jesus expressed my same exact frustration.
There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.
The scene was the Upper Room. The night was His last night before the crucifixion. Jesus knew what the next 24 hours would be like. Consequently, Jesus had to recalibrate His disciples’ expectations. And so on this night, Jesus huddled with His disciples at what should have been the singular celebration of the year: a Passover Seder.
A beautiful night that would soon turn ugly.
These men had left everything to follow Jesus. They had literally put their lives on the line to become committed Christ-followers.
Jesus had warned them repeatedly that this night was coming — the night of His betrayal and arrest.
But you know, it’s amazing to me what we hear, and what we don’t allow ourselves to hear.
Get ready to be encouraged. Super-encouraged, truth be known.
I say this because THE THING that everybody wants (and I say “everybody” without any fear of contradiction, without any worry of exaggeration)… THE THING that everybody wants is readily available, and ours for the asking.
It’s just that so many people have no idea what it is they really want. But trust me, we all want this…
You could call it “The Search for the Holy Grail.”
The Holy Grail: defined in two ways by our friends at the Webster Dictionary website:
1. In its formal usage: The cup/chalice from which Jesus supposedly drank in the Upper Room during the Last Supper, sought after (some would say) protected throughout the Middle Ages by the Knights Templar.
Which is NOT the Holy Grail to which I refer.
2. Informal usage: Something that we all very much want, but that is very hard to receive or to achieve.
Which is indeed the Holy Grail to which I do refer.
However, I would dispute the part about “very hard” to receive or to achieve.
As we are about to discover in this PODCAST, it’s not hard at all to find and to enjoy that Holy Grail — that which we all so desperately want and need (even if we don’t realize what the “that” is for which we are so desperately searching).
Please note that depending upon your web browser, it may take up to 60 seconds for the podcast to begin to play. HAPPY LISTENING!!!