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Jesus Is the Messiah
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Sermon – Jesus is the Messiah
December 12, 2010
William M. Howard
First Baptist Church of Jefferson

Matthew 11:2-11
11:2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples
11:3 and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?"
11:4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
11:5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them.
11:6 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me."
11:7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?
11:8 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces.
11:9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
11:10 This is the one about whom it is written, 'See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'
11:11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you have captured our attention by the things you did. We believe as John the Baptist believed.  Lord, we ask that you continue to bring miracles to our lives.  Help us to see clearly, help us to listen intently, help us to walk uprightly, help us to be clean, and keep us rich in hope, love, joy and peace – Amen.

Sermon: The Gospel passage begins with Jesus being out and about.  And John the Baptist is being held a prisoner.  By whom?  King Herod.  Why?  For a couple of reasons.  John was getting a lot of attention had many followers, disciples which were large crowds.  The people liked John.  Herod was getting jealous and concerned he might be loosing his power and authority to this religious character.  When King Herod summoned, called for John, John responded and came before king.  Now this could have been a congenial meeting.  Let’s remember what Kevin Haj said last week.  Kevin mentioned he really liked John the Baptist by the way he was forthright in expressing to the Pharisees and Sadducees his displeasure and called them hypocrites in front of everyone.  Well, John being John, he stated that Herod was living in sin by marrying his brother’s wife after divorcing his own.  Of course, Herod got miffed and put John in prison.

So, John is in prison and he is hearing news about the guy he baptized.

This is Advent season.  The coming season and this is what this passage is about.  It is a confirmation to John the Baptist, the messenger, the one who is leading the way for Jesus’ coming. 

Jesus was baptized (by John).

Jesus received the Holy Spirit.

But then went off into the wilderness to be tested by the devil and was away.  He did not hang out with John.  Time passes, John continues what he was doing then he gets in trouble with Herod.  Jesus comes back on the scene doing the miracles.

Have you got these miracles memorized yet?

These miracles were not just for John so he would believe.  These miracles were not just for the crowds gathering around Jesus then.  These miracles are for you and me. 

The idea here is that the advent is about the coming of Christ, the Messiah.  And the question is, “Did He really come?”  and to prove it, the miracles were performed. 

Do these miracles capture your attention? 

Could these miracles happen again?  Well, not until Jesus comes again.  However, the miracles can happen as I prayed for them.

For aren’t we all a little short sighted at times?  Do we always hear what we are supposed hear?  Do we walk the way we should?  Are our lives not as full as complete as they could be?  And, do we at times suffer with lack of hope?

The miracles that Jesus can provide are there for the asking by praying to Him.  These metaphorical conditions are just as severe at times as the real.  In this day and age, many of the real conditions can be dealt with and relieved through training and assistance.   The real conditions back then were extraordinary handicaps.  They did not manage the conditions as we do today.  But the metaphorical conditions plague us all.  And we all need the miracles of Jesus to cure us.

Have you felt the hope, love, joy and peace of this Messiah?  Have you prayed for these miracles to occur in your life?  Have you prayed for these miracles to occur in others? 

How did they seek repentance?  The crowds heard about the coarsely clothed fellow said you can seek forgiveness through baptism of repentance.  No more animal sacrifice.  Sounded pretty good to be able to get so close to God without having finely clothed priests that keep the common folk away from the altar.  Simple and straight forward.

By baptism, by accepting Jesus, we begin the process. 

John the baptizer was the messenger.  And Jesus wanted to be sure the crowds and for us to understand who John was and how he fit into the prophesy of the coming.  Jesus says John is the most important person in the realm of the prophesy.  The important fact Jesus was trying to get across was that John was “born of woman.”  He was not a supernatural spirit.  He was not clothed in high fashion.  He did not reside in a glorious temple.  He was a common human being through a divine affliction.   He taught the most important aspect of our purpose in life.  Glorify God.  How?  Ask God for forgiveness and confess the sins and become baptized in all the Glory.  And we of common nature, in common clothes, living a common life can be messengers for Jesus Christ.




Ivory Digits
William M. Howard
10 Fish Ave.
PO Box 316
Jefferson, ME 04348-0316
(207) 214-7912

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