Reflections: The Third Sunday in Advent

Today’s Reading: Matthew 11:2-15

Daily Lectionary: Isaiah 28:14-29; 1 John 5:1-21

Go and tell John what you hear and see… (Matthew 11:4)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. John the Baptizer was done for, imprisoned for rightly calling out Herod Antipas for His marriage to Herodias. John the Baptizer had a good run… I guess that’s one way to look at it.

Yet Jesus, true God and fully man, knew both the tormenting agony John the Baptizer was going through and what would soon become of John. Jesus, God with us, sent comfort to John in Prison, not in the form of a file baked into a cake or a kind card. Jesus, the Word in flesh, sent Himself… Go and tell John of me… tell Him what you hear and see.  But this seems like such small consolation, doesn’t it?

Jesus sends comfort in the midst of imprisonment, peace in the midst of impending death, and a gentle reminder that all that John himself had spoken and done in the Name of Jesus was not in vain… Tell Him what you hear and see… meaning; Tell Him that the One John jumped in the womb of his mother over, and sends peace that passes through prison walls.  Tell John that the repentance he preached on the banks of the Jordan River and to Herod Antipas was not in vain… tell Him that though He will lose his head and die at the request of Herodias; tell Him that nothing in all creation will be able to separate Him from the love, mercy, peace, and forgiveness that Christ Jesus freely gives; tell Him that the sins of the whole world, washed onto Jesus in the Jordan River are going with Jesus to be put to death on the cross, tell John that though He dies, yet He will live as His Jesus will live as the firstborn from the dead.

Those blinded by fear will be soothed, comforted, and protected by Christ the light Who overcomes all darkness.  The lame, the deaf, lepers, the blind, and even the beheaded, will live again, forever.  Lepers, yes, sinners are cleansed, those who are deaf will hear the word that gives life and the poor.  Yes, even poor imprisoned John, even in the face of death, has the good news Jesus put into them.  Blessed are you John, blessed are you dear saints of God who have the Good news preached to you.  In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, we implore You to hear our prayers and to lighten the darkness of our hearts by Your gracious visitation; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. (Collect for Advent 3)

–Pastor Adam DeGroot is Pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico..

Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Harrison Goodman.

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.