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Summary: A sermon for the 3rd Sunday in Advent

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3rd Sunday in Advent

Matthew 11:2-11

"What child is this?"

"Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?" And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me." As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses. Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, ’Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.’ Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:2-11, RSV.

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savoiur, Jesus who is the Christ child. Amen

Our gospel lesson this morning sees John the Baptist in prison and he was wondering if Jesus was indeed the Messiah. So he sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if he was the one.

Jesus does not say yes or no, to that question but tells the disciples of John to tell John what you have seen and heard. And what did they see and hear. The lame can walk the blind had received their sight,. Leper had been healed and the dead have been raised up.

Jesus told John’s disciples to go back and tell John what has been happening and then John could figure out for himself that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.

John was probably having a difficult time understanding who Jesus was.

He might be thinking, "Lord, where did I go wrong? I did what I thought you wanted. I said what I thought you wanted me to say. You told me that Messiah was coming. But where is he? Where’s the fire, the ax, the judgment he’s supposed to bring? And why, if he’s here, would he let me stay in this place? I’ve heard rumors about this one called Jesus. I thought I knew my cousin pretty well. I remember that day in the Jordan when I baptized him. What a glorious day. I knew it was all beginning then. God’s whole plan was being put into play. But, where is he now? Why isn’t he doing what I said he would do? Is he really the one or should I look for another?

John waned to know why Jesus did not come with a fire instead of love. He wanted Jesus to bring judgment upon the people, but instead he brought love and forgiveness. This was not what John thought the one would do. He thought the one would come with fire and brimstone. but Jesus came with love and understanding. Jesus came with forgiveness.

Jesus then pays his respects to John by saying : Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.


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