The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”John 1:29-34
The magi knew the King had come because they were watching the skies. Simeon knew the Messiah had come because the Spirit called him to the temple. John knew the Lamb of God had come because he had seen the Spirit descend on upon Him.
What do all these have in common? I mean, besides enviable divinely revealed and clearly defined signs of confirmation?
They were all watching. They were all looking. They were all waiting, yes, but waiting with expectation, expectation that God would fulfill His promise.
And this Advent, I wonder if I wait with the same expectation.
The magi knew the King had come because they were watching the skies. After years seeing nothing, they never stopped scanning the sky, because they expected that the prophecy would still be fulfilled. And I wonder how often I grow weary in my waiting.
Simeon knew the Messiah had come because the Spirit called him to the temple. Of all the times he must have waited there without seeing Jesus, he didn’t put off going to the temple, because he expected God would fulfill His revelation. And I wonder how often I let past disappointments keep me from present hope.
John knew the Lamb of God had come because he had seen the Spirit descend on upon Him. He was watching. He was serving. He didn’t wait for Christ to be revealed before going about his work, because he expected this One would come any day. And I wonder how often I delay.
Friends, my prayer for us is that we would be living in great expectation – watching, looking for God to show up in our lives so that when He does, we recognize Him and respond.