Reflections: The Second Sunday in Advent

Today’s Reading: Matthew 3:1-12

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 10:12-27, 33-34; 2 Peter 1:1-21

“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:3)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. On the Second Sunday in Advent, we meet an Old Testament carryover in John the Baptist. John’s purpose is to prepare the way of the Lord as Isaiah records. John, the cousin of Jesus, has a very early encounter with Jesus in the womb where he leapt for joy in the presence of Jesus. Fast forward some 30 years and John sets the stage for Jesus. 

John’s singular purpose is to prepare the people for Jesus’ arrival; John is to be the opening act for Jesus’ headline performance. To do that, John takes all focus off of himself and places it on the One who is to come. When people confront John about being the Messiah, he makes it abundantly clear that He is not the Messiah, that he is unworthy to fill that role. Instead, his singular job is to point to Jesus as the Messiah, not to be the Messiah.

This was not going to be an easy task for John. The people had a preconceived notion of the Messiah. Put some of the pieces together and John was Messiah, except he wasn’t the Messiah. He begins baptizing people for the forgiveness of their sins; the Pharisees and Sadducees come, not looking for what John has to offer but to challenge his purpose. 

John does what is expected of him, he prepares the way of the Lord. As John begins his ministry, Jesus is poised to begin His ministry. His ministry is markedly different from that of John. While both will baptize, Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John will preach repentance for all while Jesus will separate the repentant from the unrepentant and will bring them to Himself, that they may be with Him forever.

Jesus comes so that He may do the Father’s will, and that will is for you to be saved. John prepares for Jesus to make Himself aware to creation, that He may save it by His death and resurrection. John makes us ready to receive Him, not just at His Nativity but to receive Him on the cross and ultimately when He comes again to take us with Him for all eternity. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only-begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for Advent 

– Pastor Jared Tucher serves the dual-parish of St. John – Farmer’s Retreat in Dillsboro and St. Paul, Cross Plains, Indiana.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House