Summary: In our passage Jesus shares 1. His Mission and the 2. Parameters of that Mission. Jesus clearly states His Mission ( therefore our Mission) and His Target Audience (therefore our Target Audience). Jesus message is a reality check for the Church Today
Scripture: Matthew 11:2-12
Advent 3 -
Title: What would we tell John?
In our passage Jesus shares 1. His Mission and the 2. Parameters of that Mission. Jesus clearly states His Mission ( therefore our Mission) and His Target Audience (therefore our Target Audience). Jesus message is a reality check for the Church Today.
Grace and peace from God our Father and from Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
One of the places that our family loves to eat is Chick-fil-A . We like the food. We like the people who work at Chick-fil-A. We like the philosophy behind Chick-fil-A . But, we also know that Chick-fil-A is not Longhorn's or Olive Garden. We don't go to Chick-fil-A to get a bowl of minestrone soup. We don't go to Chick-fil-A to get a 11 oz. steak with a baked potato. We go to Chick-fil-A to buy a chicken sandwich. Now, that sounds rather simple doesn't it.
Years ago, a man by the name of Samuel Truett Cathy (March 14, 1921 – September 8, 2014) founded the Chick-fil-A franchise. He started off with a little restaurant located in Hapeville, a suburb of Atlanta, back in 1946 called the Dwarf Grill. It was there that he and his brother Ben created the chicken sandwich that has brought them fame and fortune. Over the years they have dabbled into some other ventures but it isn't long until they return back to their staple product - the Chicken Sandwich. The Cathy brothers know a winner when they see it and they know what their sweet spot is. It's not in marketing fish or beef but it is chicken. Chick-fil-A is a great place to get a high quality chicken sandwich for a very reasonable price.
The same can be said for the Proctor and Gamble company. They have made billions over the years selling a lot of different products but one of the most successful products in recent years has been their Swifter Wet-Jet. It's successful because P&G knew who to target and how to target them. According to the company, the Swifter Wet-Jet was designed for the working woman who maintains a hectic schedule, enjoys watching some TV shows and who reads woman-oriented magazines for help with cooking, cleaning, children and relationships. It's designed for the woman who likes to save money, uses coupons and rebates. It's designed for the woman who want her home to be as clean as her mother's home but without all the fuss and mess of a broom and mop. P & G knows their target audience and over the years it has paid off. Since its introduction in 1999 the Swifter Wet-Jet has netted over 4 billion dollars. Wow! Think about that for a moment. One product has brought in over 4 billion dollars. Now, that's knowing your target audience and what they believe they need.
The same thing could be said about Wal-mart, Toyota, Nike or any other successful enterprise. Each of them spends vast amounts of time understanding their target audience. Then they do all they can to provide what they believe that audience wants and desires. Then they go out and deliver and usually are highly successful.
Did you know this morning that Wal-mart sells snow shovels? Well, of course, you do. However, did you know that if you go into a Wal-mart in San Diego any time of the year you will not find a snow shovel? Why? Because they not only know their target audience but they know where that target audience resides. Wal-mart carries snow shovels but it doesn't put them in locations where they know they will not sell. That's just common sense isn't it?
In our Gospel Passage this morning Jesus shares with us who is to be our target audience as a Body of Christ. Jesus takes the time to remind his friend John the Baptist and us:
1. His Mission
2. His Mission's Parameters
Our passage begins with John the Baptist sitting in the dungeon of Machaerus near the Dead Sea. His promising prophetic career had nose dived ever since he had publicly rebuked King Herod Antipas of infidelity and immorality. Recently, King Herod had seduced his sister-in-law Herodias while visiting his brother Philip in Rome. Not a nice guy.
Afterwards, Herod and Herodias thought that they could cover up their affair by swiftly divorcing their spouses and getting remarried to one another. They knew the people of Judea would be shocked at first but they believed if they got married then there would not be a major outcry against their relationship. So, as soon as King Herod arrived back in Jerusalem he dismissed his wife and set about plans to marry Herodias.
However, when John the Baptist heard the news he immediately confronted King Herod. John just could not allow such a arrogant display of public immorality go unaddressed especially when it involved the King. John knew things could not merely be smoothed over and forgotten. John demanded that King Herod and Herodias repent of their sins. He demanded that they change their ways before it was too late.