Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

What Did You Expect?

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free
From our fears and sin release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Did Christmas disappoint you? Did your loved ones neglect to give you the present you wanted? Did squabbling siblings get you down? Did snow interfere with your holiday celebrations? Not to mention cancelled activities, fear of contagion, sickness!

Jesus’ earthly ministry disappointed many people. He came to set the captives free, and yet John the Baptist was not just imprisoned, he was beheaded (Matthew 14:10).

The Pharisees expected the Messiah to honor them and to fulfill the Law as they saw it. But Jesus condemned their hypocrisy, their greed, and their misinterpretation of the Law.

The people escorted Jesus into Jerusalem with the equivalent of a ticker-tape parade because they expected him to save them from their oppressors and reign as David’s heir (John 12:12). They did not realize that he came as the Servant of the Lord to die for the sins of his people. He rode a donkey, a sign that he came in peace, rather than a war-horse, which a conqueror would have ridden.

Jesus’ disciples were disappointed when he did not show any political ambition. Although he told them several times that he was going to Jerusalem to die, the disciples didn’t understand what he meant. Even up until the night before his death, the disciples sought places of honor next to him, confident that he was about to become king.

Sometimes we are disappointed with Jesus. He doesn’t seem to be the Savior we expected. Our problem is that we don’t see the whole picture. The Bible reveals two Comings of Jesus, the Messiah. We are living between those two advents. Jesus fulfilled many of the Old Testament promises in his first Coming, but many more will be fulfilled when he comes again.

He will not come as a humble servant the next time. He will come as King of Kings riding on a white horse as Conqueror making war on his enemies, including sin and death (Revelation 19:11 and 21:4). We will not be disappointed!

Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” includes the line, “Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.” Let that be our prayer too as we wait for him.


This devotion also appears in our devotional, Restore the Joy available on Amazon.

Read Revelation 19:11-21 and Revelation 21:1-7. What does Jesus promise to do when he returns? Do his promises alarm you or encourage you? Why?

Wesley wrote “let us find our rest in Thee.”  How can we do that? Read Psalm 37:7 and Matthew 11:28-29.

To read all the words of Charles Wesley’s hymn, go to:

Nancy J. Baker

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