May 23, 2023

Hello Advent Family,

Have you ever been so impressed or amazed by something or someone that you immediately became their free marketing director?  In high school we had a very good baseball team.  We received state and even national recognition and had several players from our team get drafted into professional baseball.  Despite all that talent there was one kid who stood out.  He was faster, a better hitter and honestly had a better arm than pretty much everyone else on our team. We would always talk about how good Chris was to other people.  I was certain that he was destined to the Hall of Fame.  He did end up with a pretty good MLB career and even led the National League in hitting one day but that is besides the point.  We all talked about him to others because we were so impressed by him.  This is the way John the Baptist was when it came to Jesus.  Everywhere he went he talked about the one who was coming, Jesus.  He was preparing the way for His arrival.  Let’s look at John 1 together to see a glimpse of this today.

Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” 24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

John’s enthusiasm was disturbing to the religious leaders.  They ultimately put a stop to him because he so powerfully pointed people to Jesus.  The reality is that John simply knew about what Jesus was going to do but we know the whole story.  We know about His life, death, burial, and resurrection.  We know how He healed the blind and raised some from the dead.  We have a job and a responsibility to spread the word about Jesus just as John did and we have even more information to share.  If we can talk about how good someone is at baseball or music or business, we can certainly share the news of Jesus.  He truly is the savior of the world!

In His Grip,
Pastor Dave