Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

COme Thou Long-Expected

Advent Hymn Studies #1 – Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

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I love to study the lyrics of hymns. They often bless my heart probably because so often they are words straight from scripture. I haven’t done a hymn study in a while so I’m going to try to study some Christmas hymns during December. Won’t you come along with me?

Charles Wesley, Probably the Greatest Hymn-writer of all Time!

Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus was written by the youngest son of Samuel and Susannah Wesley. Charles is likely the greatest hymn-writer of all ages.

Charles Wesley wrote this Advent hymn and printed it in his Hymns for the Nativity of our Lord (1744). Like so many of Wesley’s texts, “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” alludes to one or more Scripture passages in virtually every phrase. The double nature of Advent is reflected in this text, in which we remember Christ’s first coming even while praying for his return. Stanzas 1 and 2 recall Advent prophecies in the Old Testament; stanza 3 speaks of Christ’s birth and kingdom, and stanza 4 is a prayer for Christ’s rule in our hearts.

(PHH 267)

The first theme of Advent is HOPE. As we look forward to Christmas, let us hope for the coming of Jesus in our hearts just as the Hebrew people did long ago.


Verse 1

come thou long-expected Jesus

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,

born to set Thy people free

From our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in Thee

Israel’s strength and consolation,

Hope of all the earth Thou art

Dear desire of every nation,

Joy of every lonely heart

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,

Our hope in Jesus’ Second Coming gives us an understanding of how the Hebrew people must have felt. The troubles of life, the grief of our sins, the ache to be in the Lord’s presence, the desire to be free from captivity. We feel it today and they felt it then. In their time, many didn’t understand that it was for more than political freedom but now we have true HOPE “because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with You to himself.” 2 Corinthians 4:14.

They were waiting for freedom from the Roman Empire, but God had a plan to free us from the guilt and pain of sin. This fact alone is all we need to rejoice at Christmas

Born to Set Thy People free

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

    to proclaim freedom for the captives

    and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Isaiah 61:1 NLT

Isaiah prophesied 400 years earlier that the Messiah was coming to free them. Then God was silent for 400 years. I think they may have been getting short on HOPE as they waited for the Messiah.

Then one day, Jesus stood and read scripture in the temple! Wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall when Jesus said, “Today this prophecy has been fulfilled?” They had waited so long. I’m sure some scoffed. But others knew that Hope had come.

From our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in Thee

Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.

1 John 4:18 The Voice

The ache and grief of separation from God are now gone! Oh! Praise His name forever! Think of it. One day Christ will return again and reign here on earth. Fulfillment of the prophecies will be completed. All of us who have accepted Him as Lord will have no fear in His presence; no fear of punishment; only the Joy of His Presence!

Hope of all the Earth

 But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the outcome is eternal life!

Romans 6:22 csb

King David talked of how his bones became brittle because of his sin until he repented! You may remember the day that you confessed your sins to God and felt the load lift from your shoulders. I know that I do! You can read my testimony here on my memoirs blog.

Dear desire of every nation,

Joy of every lonely heart

We are set free! And in Him, we are sanctified through His Spirit. And this leads to Eternal Life with our God. Israel was consoled by this fact. And it makes me breathe a sigh of relief. We will be ready to face God at The Judgment because our sins are gone. Praise God our sins are gone!

Jesus is the desire of every nation; whether they know it or not. God created each of us to have that desire for God in our hearts and souls. Sadly, many are looking for love in all the wrong places. Their hearts are lonely because they are trying to fill their desire with earthly things. If only they would realize that Jesus is the only thing that can fill their lonely hearts. This is why there is such an ache.

I would love to know your story when you found Christ. Share it in the comments so we all can read it. If you haven’t experienced the forgiveness of God in your life. You can learn more on my post, How to Know Christ.

May each one cry out this Christmas Season for the Hope of Jesus Christ.


Listen to Meredith Andrews’ Version of This Christmas Hymn

About Mandy Farmer

Pastor's Wife (retired) &  Chronic Pain Warrior blogs about how to make it through anything by relating her own life experiences to her writing. She is passionate about her love for the Lord and desires to spread that passion to others. She has a great desire to encourage women who are following behind her.

View all posts by Mandy Farmer

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