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Voice John Points To Jesus (John 1:6-8, 19-28) Advent 3B

December 11, 2011

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


Now there’s a great preacher!  That’s right!  I’m referring to John.  You know, the preacher who received the divine call to  set up a pulpit in the desert.  To hear sinners make confession.  To call sinners to repentance.  To baptize sinners in the Jordan River!  Who has the divine call to serve First Wilderness on the Jordan Congregation!  Yeah, that John!


What preacher today would even consider such a call?  They would just say:  “You expect me to leave my cherry wood and leather furniture office!  What would I do with my BMW?  I’d have to give up my power point projectors, classic rock praise bands, and my well-stocked liquor cabinets and humidors!  I suppose I could wear my Veggie Tales khaki shorts, flip flops, and work on my made for TV golden tan!  But there simply aren’t any homes on the golf course – no golf courses at all for that matter – and everyone knows that preachers can’t survive one second in the wilderness with a desert diet of honey dried locusts, itchy camel hair desert clothes, and a dead in the desert congregation!  I’ve prayed about it but the Holy Spirit has led to decline the call to First Wilderness on the Jordan!”       


But preacher John takes the divine call!  He snatches it up!  And what a magnificent preacher he turns out to be!  Why?  Well, it’s right there in the text!  Check it out!


“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”


Notice:  preacher John preaches / testifies to the Light.  The Light of the world.  Guess who that is.  That’s right.  Jesus.  Jesus is the star of the salvation show!  When it comes to salvation Light of the World Jesus is the only game in town / in the world / in the universe!  No Jesus – no salvation!  For you, me or for anyone!


That Light Jesus has come into the world reveals a very important truth.  It says just how deep and evil is the darkness in the world AND IN YOU AND ME!  Jesus comes and the world does not listen to Him.  It would not acknowledge Him to be the Light.  His own people, prepare for His coming by the many voices of prophecy from Moses to John, loved the darkness rather than the light and WOULD NOT RECEIVE JESUS!  Their answer – AND OUR ANSWER to His coming into the world and our lives was making sure that He was nailed to the cross! 


Loads at stake with listening to the preacher called to First Wilderness on the Jordan.  John is the Lord’s instrument – the Lord’s mouth – the Lord’s voice to proclaim Light Savior Jesus!  So that sinners would turn from their sin, from their unbelief, from living in the darkness of death and turn to Jesus.  Repent and believe.  Believe not in John.  But only in Jesus! 


And no one can get John to say otherwise.  He testifies.  That’s courtroom language.  Witnesses testify.  His pulpit is the witness stand.  To tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  He will not lie. 


He is not the Light.  “I am not the Messiah!  Not going there!  Don’t try and pin that on me,” John declares!  “I’ll tell you who I am,” John says.  “I am only a wilderness voice!  A wilderness preaching voice!  That proclaims the Light!  The Stronger One!  He’s here already!  And soon you’ll find out who He is!  He’s the Savior.  Believe in Him!  And only in Him!”   


Preacher John – points sinners away from himself.  Directs them with his voice to Jesus.  Directs you to Jesus.  That’s the glory of John – his only glory.  And that’s the glory of any preacher.  To preach Jesus the crucified and risen One!  For you and for your salvation.


So Jesus has come.  The Savior John preached.  John gives way to Jesus.  Jesus must increase.  John must decrease for Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  And Light of the World Jesus is still among us sinners.  “Lo I am with you always,” is His promise (Matthew 28:20). 


And Jesus has established the holy Christian Church.  And within her another congregation – out in the wilderness – at least it was in 1892.  It’s called Trinity-Murdock.  Here Jesus the Light speaks.  His voice is heard.  His living voice.  Viva vox Christi!  Through His Word!  And the pastors He’s put here to speak His Word over many years.  Pastors come and go.  But Jesus doesn’t!    


He baptizes sinners here.  Many of you were baptized at this font!  One baptism for the remission of sins!  A baptism truly  in the Holy Spirit – the Lord and Giver of Life! 


He too hears your confession!  And once His ears have heard your confession of sin, there is His voice again.  The Holy Absolution! That’s His ringing, living voice from heaven, at the beginning of the service or when you hear it from the pastor individually. 


And then as His Word is preached He preaches repentance and forgiveness from the pulpit in this place.  And just as Jesus promises:  “He who hears you [preachers] hears Me,” (Luke 10:16). 


And then in a few moments the Lord will have more to say.  His words!  The Words of Institution.  Words that only the crucified and risen can speak!  “Here … My Body.  Here … My Blood.  For you.  And I promise that your sins are forgiven!  For it is My Body and Blood that I offered on the Cross for your salvation!” 


When the Light of the World Jesus speaks and makes promises like that, heaven and eternal life are yours.  His words are certain and sure.  And your life is never the same again!


In the Name of Jesus.   


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