Listen to today’s devo!

His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 1:18)

Expanded Passage: Matthew 1:18

There is always an adjustment when our expectations aren’t met. Isn’t that true? Maybe there was a meal you tried that tasted different than you expected or a movie you watched that didn’t quite live up to the reviews you read online. Whether for better or for worse, it often takes time for our experience and our expectations to reconcile.

One thing that strikes me about the life and ministry of Jesus is that he rarely operated in ways that met the expectations of others. His words and actions often left many with unanswered questions. While he rejected groups like the Pharisees who wanted to fully understand and control him, Jesus seemed drawn to the lowly, the overlooked, and those that embodied a faith-filled trust in his goodness and power. Beginning with Mary’s miraculous conception through the Holy Spirit, Jesus continued throughout his life to work best when he was operating beyond human expectation.

We know from other gospel accounts that an angel foretold this event to Mary. In the face of inevitable cultural shame resulting from becoming pregnant while unmarried, Mary courageously offered herself as God’s servant and prayed that this unpredictable and unexpected promise be fulfilled in and through her life. How might history be different if she were not willing to lay down her expectations for God's plans?

God often does powerful, unpredictable things when we are open to them.

Joel Gorveatte loves Jesus, his wife, and the church deeply. He serves as the Worship & Next Steps pastor at Journey Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.