We get the impression from the New Testament that no one was expecting Jesus to come and His coming was a total surprise. Most certainly, the religious leaders were not expecting the Messiah. But there were those who were waiting for the Anointed One.

Joseph of Arimathea was such a person. We only think of this man as the person who provided the burial place for Jesus. But Mark describes Joseph as a person "who was himself waiting for the Kingdom of God". (Mark 15:43)

Luke also tells us of Simeon in the Temple. He says "he was waiting". When Simeon saw Jesus being carried by Mary and Joseph, he praised the Lord and said "You may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation". The name Jesus, or Jeshua, is a Hebrew form of the word "salvation". This story is followed by the story of Anna the prophetess who practically lived in the Temple. As soon as Simeon had blessed them, Anna came up to them. She gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Both stories are found in Luke chapter two.

There are several scriptures that speak of waiting and watching. Luke 12:37 says "It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes." "Those who hopefully wait for me will not be put to shame." (Isaiah 49:23) "Keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back." (Mark 13:35)

Now, two thousand years later, many Christians have developed the attitude described by Peter. "Where is this ‘coming' he promised?" ". . . everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." (Second Peter 3:4) Do not be like the Pharisees who missed the first coming of the Messiah. Today, just as in the time of Jesus, there are many who are looking forward to the coming redemption. The Lord promises a blessing to those who watch and wait.

"In my father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me." (John 14:2)

Joseph of Arimathea, Simeon, Anna and unnamed multitudes were waiting for Jesus. Today many Christians, noting what the scriptures say, are looking at the events occurring around us and are waiting and watching; looking for Jesus. Paul said, "Behold, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." (First Corinthians 15:51) I, too, am counted in those numbers of Christians waiting for the Lord. Maranatha!

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