The Big Disappointment - The Warrior's Journey®

The Big Disappointment

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’” (Matthew 11:2-3)

Yes, this man of God, the greatest prophet under the Old Covenant, actually had his doubts that Jesus was the Messiah. The very man whose coming was foretold by the prophets Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3-5) and Malachi (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6) to be the forerunner of the Messiah, was now questioning whether Jesus was the real deal.

And why not? Jesus had failed to meet almost everyone’s expectations, including John’s. John had proclaimed that the Messiah would usher in the Kingdom of God. But since Jesus had come, John was imprisoned by the wicked King Herod and languished in a dark dungeon. And he would soon perish at the whim of a dancing girl. Where was the Kingdom of God in all this? Where was the Messiah’s reign of righteousness?

Jesus admitted that from John the Baptist’s time, onward, the Kingdom of God was suffering violent persecution. He later explained in the parables of Matthew 13 that the Kingdom of God was coming “undercover,” “secretly” – like leaven hidden in a lump of dough which brings about transformation from within (Matthew 13:33). Jesus would also explain that the Kingdom of God was not coming with outward signs to be observed, but would exist “within us” (Luke 17:20-21).

But the biggest reason Jesus disappointed Israel was because of His humility and kindness. This Messiah healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and caused the lame to walk, as Isaiah prophesied He would do (Isaiah 35:5-6). This Messiah described Himself as “humble and gentle in heart” (Matthew 11:29). Israel wanted nothing of it. They craved an avenger of God’s people who would place the nations under their feet. But God had His own mission for Jesus. He sent His Son to take care of Israel’s real problem – their sin. As a result, Jesus was a huge disappointment to almost everyone, except His Father. So they crucified Him.

Every Christian believer will face the same pain of disappointing this world and suffering its rejection. But we must remember that we are God’s servants, not this world’s. As one famous pastor once said, “I reserve the right to disappoint this world in order that I may not disappoint God.” Let us strive to be pleasing to God, even if it means displeasing this world and suffering its wrath.


Do you ever feel peer pressure to do things you know are displeasing to God?

Who would you rather consider you their enemy? This world? Or God?

John the apostle tells us that this world and all its glitter is about to perish, but the one who does God’s will live eternally (1 John 2:17). Let’s do God’s will.

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