Needs don't always meet expectations

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A while back my wife and I wanted to buy a new DVD player. We wanted a player that was small and had clean lines because it was going to sit out on a shelf and be easily seen. We found a silver DVD player that met all of our criteria, plus it had matched other things on the shelf where it would find its new home. Perfect.

When family movie nights rolled round, we could watch our movies pausing, stopping and skipping scenes if needed with our handy smaller-than-a-credit-card remote. Wonderful, until the conveniently sized remote was inconveniently misplaced. We searched and searched for the remote only to graduate it from the hopeful "misplaced" to the finality of "lost."

The problem was that our perfectly streamlined DVD player only had three buttons on it: play, stop and eject. Without the remote, not only could we not access the other features, but some movies wouldn't start just by pressing play. When the player wouldn't do what we needed it to do, when we needed it to do it, we lost interest in it.

Jesus on the road into Jerusalem was greeted by a great crowd of people shouting "Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." Yet a few days later the same people in this cheering crowd could have just as easily been mixed up in the crowd that demanded that this innocent man be crucified while a murderer was set free. Just a few days separate the enthusiasm of an arriving king from the condemnation of this innocent man of sorrows.

Jesus didn't live up to their expectations. He accomplished all that God the Father had given him to do (John 17:4), but the people wanted more. When they didn't get it, they lost interest.

My interest in the DVD player was lost when it didn't perform to my expectations. It still played most movies, but not the way I wanted it to.

Jesus knew exactly what he was supposed to do. It didn't matter if the crowds were interested or understood. He didn't live for them. He was greeted on Palm Sunday as a conqueror only to be rejected as a criminal.

Jesus did not live to fulfill the expectations of the crowds, but he died to meet their greatest need.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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