What Do You Expect? Matthew 11:2-11

What Do You Expect?                                 Matthew 11:2-11

What Do You Expect?                                 Matthew 11:2-11

Rob wasn’t the kind of guy you would have expected to see at seminary.  I can imagine when some people think about seminary, they think about a properly shaved younger adult with neatly trimmed hair and nice ironed clothes that might include a clergy collar. Rob was the opposite of that. He was a second career student which meant he had not come directly from college.  He had a lot of life experiences and was in his late forties or early fifties.  He had long scraggly hair with a big beard that was just as long and just as scraggly.  He wore an old jean jacket all the time whose sleeves had been cut off, so it was now a vest and sewed into the denim on the back of that vest was the emblem of the biker gang he belonged to called Soldiers for Christ.

Soldiers for Christ was a Christian biker gang and Rob would hold us in rapt attention with stories of riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle as he shared the Gospel with other non-Christian bikers.  Rob may not have been the kind of person I expected to meet at seminary, but we he was the kind of person I was excited to have met there, as he shared life experiences of living out his faith in a way that witnessed to others. 

John the Baptist does not sound like he fit the mold of the kind of religious person the people expected to find when they went out to see him.  Jesus addresses this when he began to speak to the crowds about John and says: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.  John the Baptist may not have fit the image of a religious teacher, but he was a prophet none the less, and a very important one as well, as he heralds the coming of Jesus.

When we think of a religious person or when we think of a Christian, what do expect to see? Someone who looks like us?   Someone with the same socio-economic status as us?  Someone who dresses the part, according to our standards?  Can we be surprised by the way God works within people who don’t fit within our image of a person of faith?  Prophets can come in all shapes and sizes with all different kinds of looks and livelihoods.  Perhaps the challenge then, is to see past our preconceived notions to the word of God different people might be presenting.

-Pastor Erik Goehner