I don’t like surprises. (Weird, I know.) In the many years I’ve been married, my husband has maybe been able to surprise me once or twice. I’m just one of those people who likes knowing what’s next.
Our sweet group of Jesus lovers is starting a new study: The Jesus Who Surprises. Hmmm, I have to admit, He does.
Life has often been unpredictable. I’ve learned we may miss out on some pretty cool moments if we run from the unexpected. So what’s a girl to do when “surprise” (even if it’s good), makes her want to just stay home?
About 2,000 years ago there was a man named Nicodemus, he was a high ranking member of the Jewish ruling council. You don’t get there by being lazy or without knowing your stuff. He had the fame and status but this Jesus, going around dissing the members of his group, was not a good surprise.
After hearing and seeing Messiah in action, he decided to pay a night time visit (you know, so no one would see him). As he inquired about the things on his heart and mind, Jesus said to him:“You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ ” (John 3:7 NIV) I can see Nicodemus’ expression, but the Savior patiently explained.
Even Jesus’ closest followers were caught off-guard regularly. Think about it: the wind and waves obeying Him, a fig tree dying at His word, a dead man raised from the grave, and quite a few more wonders.
We are beginning to live in days where Christians, once more, are unwelcome, not tolerated. Jesus warned us this would happen:“My friends, don’t be surprised if the people of this world hate you.” (1John 3:13 CEV)
In the two thousand years since Nicodemus’ surprise and the disciples’ jaw-dropping encounters, people who reject God have often tried to silence the only Hope this world has. But God has been in the business of wonder an awe since before creation. Noah building an ark (but God there’s no water here); Moses parting a sea, speaking with God, saving a stubborn people; Joseph going from slave to ruler; David being forgiven adultery and murder.
Surprise, this is God – with Him all things are possible! He’s always in the business of helping us “see” what a mighty God we serve. The thing is, God is never surprised. All our messes, heartaches, triumphs, don’t catch Him off-guard. He weaves it all together into an eternity of everlasting wonder.