Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Read: Matthew 1:1-17

So all the generations . . . were fourteen generations. (v. 17)

Charles Wesley, measured by both quantity and quality, was the greatest hymn-writer in church history. He wrote something like 6,000 hymns (estimates vary). Of all those thousands, ten or twelve are still commonly sung today, including “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus.”

Jesus really was “long-expected.” Think about how long the people of Israel had to wait for their Messiah. Matthew says that there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen more from David to the deportation to Babylon, and a final fourteen between the exile and Jesus. (And he condensed the list some, especially in the first part.)

Even one generation is a long time to wait. But then imagine having to wait fourteen generations, and not just fourteen, but three times fourteen! Like ancient Israel, the church has been waiting too, and for about the same length of time. We’re waiting for our long-expected Messiah to return and complete his great work of salvation.

Perhaps you are also waiting today for some personal “coming”—better health, maybe, or greater happiness; for a spouse to return to a marriage, or a child to return to the faith. You’ve been praying for it, and long-expecting God to answer. Whatever it is you are waiting for, wait with the assurance that God is working out all things in his time.

As you pray, thank God for the assurance that he is coming, and ask God to guide you as you wait.

Listen along: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus – The Petersens

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

This entry is part 4 of 25 in the series Carols and Lessons