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Third Sunday in Advent

December 14, 2008

Third Sunday in Advent             Trinity Lutheran Church
14 December 2008                     Murdock, NE

                                                        + Jesu Juva +

St. John 1:6-8, 19-28

John sure blows it.  This is the biggest opportunity of his life.  People are ready to follow him anywhere.  He’s the hottest preacher on the circuit.    Remember last week.  All of Judea and all of Jerusalem were going out to hear him preach.  He was baptizing people by the truck load.  They were even willing to let him hear their confession.  Now that’s really something!  Christ-like stuff here going on with this John.   

So what do you say John?  Want to step up to the plate and play the Christ game?  You could pull it off.  The people would believe it.  Really, when people come to you to confess sins and be baptized in the desert . . . that’s huge!  So what’s up John?  Who are you?  “Sorry folks.  I’m honored that you think so highly of me.  But I’m not the star of the show here.  Let’s get that straight right now.  Let there be absolutely no misunderstanding!  I am not the Christ!  Did you hear me?  I am not the Christ!” 

Bummer.  We thought maybe that’s who you were.  So who in the world are you?  Elijah?  “Nope!”  Are you the Prophet promised in Deuteronomy 18?  “No way.  Not even close.”   Well, then we don’t have a clue.  We give up.  Who are you?  Tell us please?

“All right, since you insist.  Here’s who I am.  I’m just a VOICE.  A voice in the wilderness.  The voice in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.  It’s time to get ready for the real Messiah.  The real Christ.  The Savior of the world.  He’s coming after me.  I’m nothing.  He’s everything.  He’s the light of the world.  He’s Jesus.  I’m here to bear witness to Him.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  After all, Jesus is the Savior.  He’s come to die for you.  To answer for all your sin.  Give you eternal life.”

Now that’s a sermon.  Really.  It is.  Voice John preaches Jesus.  And not just any Jesus.  But the Jesus promised by God Himself through the Old Testament prophets.  The suffering, crucified, and risen Jesus.  John is bullish about one thing in the pulpit.  You can always count on him preaching Jesus. 

Such preaching so that you believe.  Not in John.  Not in yourselves.  But in Jesus.  And so that believing in Jesus you have life.  Life eternal. 

John will not be a hindrance to the Christ.  He won’t get in Jesus’ way. 

Why?  Because John knows what’s at stake.  If he preaches anything but the good news of the Gospel of Jesus, what’s the use?  No Jesus, no salvation.  For you.  For me. Or for anyone.  If it’s not Jesus, then whom will you believe in for salvation?  John?  That would end disastrously!  Yourself?  Double disastrously!

So John’s just a voice to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

And so Jesus has come.  At Bethlehem.  At Calvary.  Doing His Good Friday work for you.  Winning your salvation.  He comes today.  His word of forgiveness is for you.  What He says is true.  Your sins are forgiven.  Proof is His Body and Blood and the promise of forgiveness there too.  And He will come again in glory on the Last Day.  He will come for you. His Good Friday wounds and scars will be showing even then. 

And there will be that preacher named John.  Still pointing us to Jesus.  Still confessing Jesus.  Still bearing witness to the Savior.  And what joy for all of us who believe in Jesus.  It will be heavenly.  That’s a promise you can count on.

In the Name of Jesus.                

From → "B" Sermons

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