He was to overthrow Israel’s enemies. That was the hope. The Jewish people expected a Messiah who would set them free. They knew things were not the way they were supposed to be. Their dream was one day God would send a hero, a Messiah, who would put everything back to rights.
God did the unexpected. Instead of a mighty Messiah, Jesus came into the world as a child. He emptied himself (Philippians 2) of everything but love, came into the world as a servant, humbled himself, was obedient to God, even to death. A child who would save the world wasn’t what was expected. The birth of Jesus was so much more.
Perhaps our minds couldn’t grasp how God’s plan could work. A Messiah with the power of God overthrowing enemies and putting everything to rights makes sense. We can understand how someone like that could be victories. But a child? How would a child fulfill God’s promises? How could a child free God’s people?
Jesus is Immanuel; God with us. He is not a warrior to fight on our behalf, but one who walks with us through all the fights. Through him we find peace that doesn’t make sense. In the midst of our trouble we find we are not alone. Instead of transforming the world through power, he transforms the world through love. Jesus is not what was expected, he is more than we could ever have hoped.