THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!



3 comments:

Matthew said...
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Matthew said...

This is the sermon that will be heard this sunday in our church. this is written by a 24 year old man, who has been a packer fan his entire life. i attended the first championship game, and it will be a challenge to keep focused on my Savior the Lamb of God when preaching, since i will be anticipating the next NFC Championship Game.

Look, the Lamb of God!
1. Learn about Him
2. Tell about Him

In sports a coach will often tell you to pick a star to watch and mimic the greats. If you are a pass rusher you might want to watch film on the late Reggie White. If you are a slick infielder you may want to watch David Eckstein. Or if you are a jump shooter, look at a shooting great like a Michael Jordan. Look at what they do, and learn from it. John the Baptist was studying the moves of a great as well. In fact, he was studying the Savior. As John the Baptist was learning about Jesus he pointed out to his disciples that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Then we are able to see both John and his disciples, who see Jesus want to tell others about Jesus.

The Gospel of John was written later than all of the other gospels. In John you will sometimes see the same stories of the other four, but also you may see the accounts that others didn’t include or were not privy to. This is the only account of hearing Jesus being called the Lamb of God, until later again in Revelation, a book written by the same author, John. This account follows the day after people were trying to call John the Messiah. John made it seem that people were really bothering him to proclaim himself as the Savior. But the next day he made his confession clear for all to hear. Look, (pointing to Jesus) 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.’

I. Learn about him

31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”

What does John mean in verse 31? Is John suffering from some sort of memory loss? No, not at all. Remember last weeks Gospel lesson when John baptized Jesus his long time childhood friend. After the baptism the heavens opened up and John saw the Spirit descend like a dove down onto Jesus. Then a voice from heaven said: “This is my Son whom I love with him I am well pleased.” Remember it was then that Jesus’ ministry started and it was then that John and all of Israel knew Jesus was the Messiah. John also had a direct revelation from God. As we see in 33 John was told by God that the one you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. And then John confesses in 34 that I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.

If you are walking through the mall here in Green Bay, you may walk along side of, or right by a Packer player without even knowing it. They look like ordinary people and they blend with the rest of society, except maybe Brett and Al Harris, and anyone else who has dread locks. But sometimes it takes them standing around in their Jersey at a signing or a PR guy announcing their presence for us to realize who they really are. John the Baptist was in a way Jesus’ PR director. John’s Job was to prepare the way for Jesus. To massage the ears of the listeners. John knew that. So when it came time, and John saw the Epiphany of Jesus, he knew as the Savior’s PR man to make Jesus known to the people around him. And John said, Look, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Sometimes though we are like the people in Jesus’ ministry. Sure, the word is out that Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior of the world, but people shrug their shoulders and say, I don’t care. Often times we are the same way. We hear all the wonderful news of about the Savior and we shrug our shoulders. We start to take it for granted. Our faith is weakened. And one Satan finds an opening he will go after your faith and attack it. Which are you more excited for, hearing the word of God? Or the NFC Championship game? Gut check time.

Our Savior knows that the life of a believer looks like the Rocky mountains. The believer’s faith has its peaks and valleys. And in the valleys Jesus reminds us of our Baptism and the forgiveness of sins that baptism gives. He turns our minds back to when he was baptized, like pastor said last week how Jesus stepped into our Shoes. He reminds us that he was the one who had it rough, because he was the one who lived a perfect life and died and innocent death for you. Like John said, Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In that one purely Gospel statement we see how Jesus is the Savior. The lamb being led to slaughter, not without a purpose but to win eternal life for his children.

After Jesus’ baptism John knew that Jesus was the Messiah. That’s why he so blatantly said, it’s not me, I am not the Savior. I not even worthy enough to tie the Savior’s shoes. John learned from the Messiah and from God that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away all sin. Now look at how John tells others about Jesus.

II. Tell others about him.

Now after John learned about Jesus the very next day John tells his disciples again about Jesus: The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

With conviction John tells his disciples that Jesus is the Lamb of God. After John had learned that Jesus was the Messiah like any good teacher he told his students about it. He told them exactly what they needed to know. And what was their reaction? They followed Jesus. We are not told why, but one could assume that it is either because of John’s confession or because of the disciples conviction in their own heart. So they then follow Jesus until Jesus asks them what’s up. They tell him that they want to spend the day with him. As soon as Andrew heard what Jesus had said to them, he went and got his brother Simon Peter. It was then that Andrew confessed that they have found the Messiah. This is the beginning of Jesus and his disciples.

So after hearing big news what do you do? Don’t you call your loved ones? After a baby is born, how long does that news go unheard? After you get engagaed ladies how long did it take you to call your future maid of honor and tell them all about it. When we have big news we are wired in such a way that we need to tell others about it. The same was true with John the Baptist and his disciple Andrew. Once they had the news of Jesus as the Messiah it didn’t take long at all for them to tell the ones they loved. We see John tell his disciples and Andrew immediately told his brother that they have found the Messiah.

I sometimes envy their enthusiasm. Often times I will look at my own life and judge it whether or not I have the same drive as John or Andrew to tell others about Jesus. I am sure you have done it as well. Just look at how lazy we may become when it comes to friendship evangelism, we may cut conversation short because it is getting too uncomfortable. We may dodge the hardball questions of a lost soul only to talk about the weather. Sometimes our enthusiasm lacks. Our Joy in the Savior is on break. Pray to the Lord for strength and drive, to rejuvenate your spirit to do God’s work.

Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God took away all of our sins answers our prayers and by his perfect life and innocent death gives us all the hope and joy that we need. What else is there that can truly excite the heart of a Christian than knowing that the sin of this world will pass away someday, because Jesus conquered sin on our behalf. Because of Jesus and his salvific work we will be in heaven one day. Because of Jesus’ perfect life and innocent death we can live our life without fear because we know, that by the power of our Savior all our sins are washed away. Jesus is the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

John the Baptist and the disciples today both picked a key man to learn from. Just like an athlete wanting to learn all of the best techniques, John and his disciples both look to the Lamb of God to learn. And in response to their learning they want to tell others about Jesus. May the Holy Spirit strengthen us as well that we to may truly learn about Jesus and tell other’s about him.
AMEN

Donna Boucher said...

Good to meet you, Father.

I followed a link from the JS.

Thank you for doing what you do!
I look forward to hearing what you tell the team tomorrow.

Stay warm and enjoy to game.

Go Pack Go

Donna

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