The Evidence of John

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Click to Read JOHN 1:6-8, 19-28

THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT
  • First Sunday we read about being ready with our hearts and living for he promise.
  • Second Sunday we heard Mark identified the Promise – Jesus the Anointed One, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the World.
  • Today we ready John the Evangelist speak of the Baptist, the herald of the King of Kings.
    • He was greatly acknowledged as a prophet
    • And all Jerusalem, Judea and Galilee paid heed to his word.
  • In fulfillment of his promise (Protoevangelium)
    • God initiates his plan of re-creating man and creation
    • He come to earth but his own recognized him not.
    • NT Wright says
      • But when God sends the Word into the world,
      • the world pretends it doesn’t recognize him
    • This is the central problem which dominates the whole gospel story.
    • Therefore fresh grace is needed, on top of the grace (law) already given (verse 16):
      • the law, given by Moses, points in the right direction,
      • but, like Moses himself, it doesn’t take us to the promised land.
  • In looking up the stories that surround Jesus
    • Mark approaches this with presenting facts about Jesus so we can conclude for ourselves.
    • One person who features in all the four gospels is John the Baptist
      • He was a man mighty in speech and oration
      • People were compelled to listen to his words
      • He spoke direct
      • And did not mince his words
      • He did many a signs and wonders
    • Many thought he was the Messiah
      • But he said he is only a witness to the Messiah
        • His forerunner, the herald
        • The Messiah indeed s coming, but immediately after him.
    • He was a prophet,
      • just like Elijah,
      • Just as Elijah was a representative of all prophets
      • John the Baptist came as a prophet
        • Return, return to God
        • With all your hearts
        • Minds and soul
        • With all your desire
        • Come back into a relationship with God
        • Throw out everything that can keep you away from God
        • He himself is coming
        • Make space for him in your hearts
      • Let him come – he who is the prince of peace
        • Welcome him in your hearts
        • And let his peace reside in you.
    • The Baptist identifies himself with a prophecy of Isaiah (40:1-8)
      • that he is a ‘voice’.
      • This passage is the beginning of the Consolation section
      • Which tells Israel to hold to its hope
        • The time indeed is right
        • And its Creator is coming
        • To restore all things
      •  This voice will go before the Lord
        • He will invite all people to the banquet
        • Do come
        • Dressed appropriately for the Banquet of the Lord
  • He that is coming is the everlasting in life (Is 40:8b)
    • And he will thread the streets of Jerusalem, Judea and Galilee
    • He will reign over Israel
    • But he John the Baptiser, recognises his origins
    • Recognises him
    • But also recognises, that he himself is not worth to be his servant
    • Nor his slave
  • Jesus has come into this world
    • And with his annual celebration of his coming
    • We are invited to re-assess ourselves
    • and see that we are dressed appropriately for the Banquet
  • What is it that Jesus demands from us
    • He demands but our desire for him
    • And our presence before him
    • Do we want him as part of our lives