"Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21b)
As I look at my newborn son sleeping peacefully in the hospital, I consider the expectations I have for him; expectations to become a disciple of Jesus showing the compassion of the Messiah to the world around him by becoming a voice to the voiceless and a light shining to others in our present age of darkness.
It is obvious that the world he is entering has gone awry. Wars, poverty, disease, racism, and death are the everyday reality in which we live. However, this is not new. In reading about history, this was the reality of every ancient and modern society that existed. Interestingly, this is also the backdrop for the expectations that Israel had for its Messiah.
Isaiah 61:1-2a says, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” This passage shows the expectation of the Messiah who would rescue Israel as he brought about the Year of the Lord (known as Jubilee), which represented a restoration of all things to their intended order (Lev. 25:8-22).
This vitally important message is what Jesus used to define himself when he declared that the Scriptures have been fulfilled. Today, we can have confidence in Christ because we know Jesus walked in perfect obedience to his prophetic expectations resulting in his vindication by God as the King of kings who was raised from the dead (Phil. 2:5-11) and who will have all enemies subjected under his feet (1 Cor. 15:20-28)! We are also reminded that salvation is bigger than individual forgiveness of sins, as it is the restoration of all things through the liberating power of Jesus from this age! In essence, salvation becomes a present and eternal return to relational living the way God originally intended!
Therefore, even in our society, I smile bringing a son into the world for there is hope in engaging with a Kingdom-based, light-bringing society through the church as God intended! We now live a life of loving God and neighbors (Matt. 22:36-40) which provides fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11). We participate in a life where we are to impart wisdom in word and deed (Col. 3:16-17) while being marked by the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25). Finally, knowing we still need help, we live a life where God provides assistance through the Holy Spirit (John 16:13-15).
I am nothing but overwhelmed by the hope I have in my expectations for Emmett Jameson Peterhoff because Jesus met his expectations as the perfect Messiah, our King! This knowledge is beautiful! I long for and pray that we all live out the expectations that I have for Emmett! Let us remember and live in light of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection as the revelation showing us that we are presently and eternally liberated as we live under the reign of God through King Jesus!
(Jim, Laura, Arya & Emmett)