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What A Sermon!

January 19, 2014

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Second Sunday after the Epiphany                                   Trinity Lutheran Church

19 January 2014                                                                        Murdock, NE


+Jesu Juva +

John 1:29-42a


Well, here we go again.  Having to deal with more of John the Baptizer.  Fresh from baptizing Jesus as a sinner in the Jordan to preaching another sermon.  After all, that’s what preachers do.  Always preaching.  Can’t get them to stop.  You know how it is.  Get Kuhlman going … and he goes on and on.  No wonder you like it when Porath from Eagle pinch hits every once in a while.  You get a break.


Would you care to hear another sermon?  I suppose you do.  After all, you’re here again.  John doesn’t disappoint.  He’s really good!  He’s faithful to his calling as a preacher.  Even though he had quite a large desert congregation at First Congregation on the Jordan, his preaching got him into trouble.  Arrested.  Jailed.  Made shorter by a head.  Because he preached it like it is.  He got in your grill with both the law and the gospel.  He called both political leaders as well as the big wig church authorities to repentance.  He afflicted the arrogant.  He comforted the afflicted.


Now today he steps into the pulpit.  Perhaps for the last sermon he’ll ever preach.  It’s another remarkable sermon.  Is it because it’s so short?  No, although I’m sure you’ll appreciate its brevity.  But the sermon is so magnificent because of its content.  The sermon unwraps and unpacks the best Christmas present you received this year.  The present that God Himself gave you.


John preaches Christmas gift Jesus for you.  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”   That’s it.  Sermon over.  Well, not quite yet.  But John insists on this one thing.  He’s quite bullish about it.  Johnny One Note he is.  You know how preachers are.


His sermon finishes with a flurry:  “Look everyone!  There’s Jesus!  The Messiah!  The Savior!  I told you He was coming.  And now here He is.  The only begotten Son of God.  I baptized Him in the Jordan – His ordination for His Lamb of God salvation work.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit at the Jordan for His Messianic Mission.  I was there.  I saw it all.  At first I didn’t get it.  I tried to stop Jesus from His Lamb of God Christ work.  It didn’t make sense that He receive a baptism with and for sinners.  But at the Jordan River Jesus began His ministry to take the sin of the world in His Body and carry it to Calvary.  So now I bear witness to all of you.  I’m a nothing!  Jesus is everything! ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’”


Think John will change his sermon the next day?  Nope!  Not a chance.  A day later John points his disciples to Jesus again and says:  “Look!  There’s Jesus!  He’s the Lamb of God.”


Lamb of God.  Lamb of God.  What’s with that?  Jesus is the perfect Lamb without spot or blemish.  So?  Lamb of God Jesus will be sacrificed.  His Blood shed.  His Body dead on the altar of the Cross.  That’s Good Friday.  Roasted in God’s red-hot wrath against the world’s sin.  And then as the Passover Lamb to be eaten in the Sacrament of the Altar.


Why?  I’ll tell you why.  I’ll piggyback on John.  Lamb of God Jesus is the atoning sacrifice for sin.  Yours, mine and the world’s.  No forgiveness without the shedding of blood.  And so the divine Lamb of God Jesus bleeds.  Flogged.  Beaten.  Thorns rip open His head.  Spikes driven through His hands and feet.  The spear slits his side.  He gives His life.  His divine life through the shedding of His divine Blood.


So John preaches:  “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”


What John preaches Jesus does.  The take away sin job.  Achieving and winning forgiveness.  For you.  Here and now.


What have you done?  What are your sins?  Some you know. Many you don’t.  Some you love to do.  Others you hate.  Sins you want to quit.  Sins that you struggle with.  Sins that you’ve done on purpose.  Sins that you don’t have a clue about.  Hurtful sins that you’ve committed against others.  Sins that others have done to you.  I’m here to tell you that they’re all forgiven.  They do not condemn you.


Why?  Here’s why.  Jesus has taken them all away!  They don’t belong to you anymore.  Your sin, all of it, Jesus claims as His own.  Your sin is TAKEN AWAY from you and placed on Jesus the Christ.  He wraps Himself in all your sin as God’s Servant.  God’s Chosen, Suffering, Dying Servant.  The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


Jesus is indeed everything.  He’s the Savior.  No wonder John preached the way he did.  Giving away Jesus to sinners.


And then, all of a sudden, John’s Lamb of God sermons bear fruit.  Without a mission board!  Without a mission statement or evangelism committee!  The preached Word accomplishes the mission for which it mouthed.


Check it out!  Sinner Andrew sticks with Jesus.  Won’t let the Savior out of his sight.  Same with you.  That’s the way it is in the New Testament.  So many sinners hanging on to Savior Jesus!  Coming from out of the blue.  Crawling out of the woodwork.  Packing His home to full capacity like its some sort of Katy Perry concert at Pinnacle Arena.  Even sawzalling the roof at one point to let down a paralytic!  (I sure hope Jesus had good insurance!)  The point I’m trying to make is this:  when word leaks out or gets preached that Lamb of God Savior Jesus is hanging out, sinners from all over come running to receive His savior-ing work.


After all, Lamb of God Jesus has more than enough forgiveness for everyone.  So Andrew rounds up his brother Simon Peter, another sinner.  “Simon, we have found the Messiah!  He’s here!  The Promised Savior!  John’s sermon preached him to us.  Let’s stay with Jesus and live off of His forgiveness like college students mooch off their parents eating them out of house and home and drinking all the … Kuerig K-Cup packs!”


And Jesus loves it.  He’s there for sinners.  God’s grace and peace come to sinners with Lamb of God Jesus.  He takes away the sin of the world.  He takes away John’s, Andrew’s, Simon’s and yours.


You are forgiven.  Lamb of God Jesus has died for you.  You have received one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  All your lives are lived in the Lamb of God’s forgiveness won for you at Good Friday and bestowed on you at your Baptism.


At your Baptism the Lord’s bidding was followed.  “Make disciples of all nations.”  So you are baptized in the Triune Name.  And you became a disciple too.  A follower of Jesus Himself.  A disciple who trusts only in Jesus for forgiveness.  For salvation.  Why?  Better listen to preacher John again.


“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”


What a sermon.  Thank you Jesus for your faithful preacher and servant John.


In the Name of Jesus.


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