Sermon Transcript – Still Haven’t Found What You’re Looking For?

Series A – Second Sunday After the Epiphany – Sunday, January 15, 2023 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:27The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint John of the first
0:33Glory To You O Lord
0:37the next day John saw Jesus coming
0:40toward him and said Behold the Lamb of
0:43God who takes away the sin of the world
0:44this is he of whom I said after me comes
0:49a man who ranks before me because he was
0:51before me I myself did not know him but
0:54for this purpose I came baptizing with
0:57water that he might be revealed to
0:59Israel and John bore witness I saw the
1:02Spirit descend from heaven like a dove
1:04and it remained on him I myself did not
1:06know him but he who sent me to baptize
1:08with water said to me he on whom you see
1:11the spirit descend and remain he this is
1:13he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and
1:16I have seen and I have borne witness
1:18that this is the Son of God the next day
1:21again John was standing with the two of
1:24two of his disciples and he looked at
1:25Jesus as he walked by and said Behold
1:28the Lamb of God the two disciples heard
1:30him say this and they followed Jesus
1:32Jesus turned and saw them following and
1:35said to them what are you seeking and
1:38they said to him Rabbi which means
1:40teacher where are you staying he said to
1:43them come and you will see so they came
1:45and saw where he was staying and they
1:46stayed with him that day for it was
1:48about the tenth hour one of the two who
1:51heard John speak and followed Jesus was
1:53Andrew Simon Peter’s brother he first
1:56found his own brother Simon and said to
1:58him we have found the Messiah which
2:00means Christ and he brought him to Jesus
2:03this is the gospel of the Lord so Jesus
2:06asked the question in Our Gospel text
2:08what are you seeking what are you
2:13seeking and when I hear a question like
2:15that I cannot help but think of you too
2:16now I’m not talking about you two I’m
2:18actually talking about the band you too
2:20the rock and roll band with Bono right
2:22and that song of theirs it gets stuck in
2:24my head from time to time I Still
2:26Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For right
2:29Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
2:32So In Our Gospel text today something
2:34interesting is happening in fact quite
2:37fascinating if you consider its
2:39implications here John the Baptist is
2:41about ready to finish all of his work
2:45and I wish I could say that from here he
2:47retired in Bermuda and lived happily
2:49ever after but that’s not the fate of
2:51John the Baptist remember John the
2:53Baptist was prophesied by the Old
2:55Testament prophets to be the Forerunner
2:57of Christ who would prepare the way
2:59before him and make straight the paths
3:02of well people before God and how did he
3:06do it well by preaching repentance
3:08that’s what he preached repentance but
3:10you’ll note something interesting
3:12happens because as John is getting ready
3:14to finish his course Jesus is baptized
3:18by him we talked about that last week
3:20Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist
3:23and while he was being baptized the
3:25whole the heavens opened up the Holy
3:27Spirit descended on him in the form of a
3:29dove and remained on him and the voice
3:31of the father was heard this is my
3:33beloved Son in whom I am well pleased
3:36and John the Baptist this now you can
3:39legitimately say he’s done his bit his
3:42his job is over he can
3:45be done with it right but here’s the
3:48thing is you’ll note that always and
3:49again when you’re at when you’re on your
3:51last day of work or your last week of
3:54work there’s always a couple of loose
3:55ends you have to tie up and in this
3:58particular case John the Baptist has to
4:00tie up the Loose Ends of he has
4:02disciples whom he’s been teaching and
4:05it’s time to pass them off to Jesus
4:08because John ain’t going to be here for
4:10much longer it’s important that he pass
4:12him off to Jesus because it was never
4:14about them being Disciples of John the
4:16Baptist in the first place it was always
4:18about him preparing the way for Christ
4:21but in so doing John the Baptist does
4:24something very interesting in Our Gospel
4:27he says while Jesus is passing by Behold
4:32the Lamb of God who takes away the sin
4:34of the world
4:36notice he doesn’t say there’s the
4:40that’s important that he didn’t say that
4:44and here’s your reason why Messiah was
4:47one of these words that was hijacked and
4:51false meanings were poured into it back
4:55in Christ’s day the expectation because
4:58it was taught by the Pharisees is that
5:00when Messiah shows up he’s going to flex
5:03his davidic muscles he’s going to kick
5:06out those evil Roman idolaters free them
5:09from the oppression of the Roman Empire
5:11and Usher in a second glorious Kingdom
5:15age of the davidic reign of of Israel
5:21um here’s the issue that’s not why Jesus
5:25came and so if John the Baptist had said
5:28there’s the Messiah right there it would
5:31have led to all kinds of trouble which
5:33again comes to our question
5:35that Jesus asked what exactly are you
5:39seeking and you’ll know in our day and
5:42age we kind of have the same problem and
5:45it goes something like this is that we
5:48kind of think that we intuitively know
5:51what we want and what we need as it
5:53relates to God and Jesus and things like
5:56this and as a result of it our intuition
5:59has led us astray I can give you kind of
6:02an analogy when when I really got going
6:04again on photography there were certain
6:07pieces of equipment that I thought that
6:09I needed and the reason I thought that I
6:11needed them is because well I some of my
6:13favorite photographers use those pieces
6:16of equipment but the thing is is that
6:18they’re different artists than I am and
6:20so I have a few pieces of camera
6:22equipment that I don’t use that very
6:24often because it doesn’t fit my artistic
6:27Vision it doesn’t really work with who I
6:29am and how I photograph as a result of
6:32it what I thought I needed actually
6:34turned out to be not what I needed and
6:36what I needed I didn’t know that I
6:38needed it until I figured it all out you
6:40kind of get the idea and so oftentimes
6:42when it comes to Christianity we think
6:45we know what we need we look at the
6:48world around us have you noticed that
6:50the world has a few problems things can
6:52be a little bumpy In Our Lifetime right
6:54especially if you’re married and you
6:56have kids things can be a little bumpy
6:59or if you have any kind of relationship
7:01with any other human being if you’re not
7:03a recluse and you’re dealing with other
7:05human beings especially when you’re at
7:07work in the office remember where two or
7:09more gathered there is politics right
7:11things can be a little dicey a little
7:15dangerous and so we think we know what
7:17we need we need a God who’s going to
7:20help us solve all of our little life
7:22problems right we need a God who’s going
7:24to help us get more money we need a God
7:27who’s going to help us to have a little
7:28bit more influence maybe to build some
7:30kind of an influencer platform on social
7:32media we need a God who’s going to make
7:35us healthy because you’ll know how many
7:37people their lives are falling apart
7:38because their health is failing so we
7:41needed God is going to solve that
7:42problem we need a god well and then I
7:45think about how the uh the Seeker driven
7:47guys talk about Jesus have you noticed
7:49this but the secret driven big big box
7:53mega churches do they kind of like take
7:55out one of these big strip mining sand
7:57blaster things to the Bible and they
7:59blow away everything that they don’t
8:01think is practical because we’ve got we
8:03need a relevant God and so they kind of
8:06turn Jesus into one of those
8:09what are those videos that are on
8:12Facebook and things like that like The
8:14Artsy Panda thing you know what I’m
8:16talking about where they reduce Jesus to
8:19like uh he’s the guy who gives us life
8:22hacks to make our lives better you know
8:24Jesus is the guy that you can take a
8:26Bendy straw a little bit of duct tape
8:28and and a pair of scissors and you can
8:30create the most amazing thing ever that
8:32will make it so that your your food
8:34Cooks in 15 minutes faster than you
8:36could ever thought right The Crafty
8:38Panda uh you know video so they’re
8:40looking for crafty Panda Jesus who’s
8:42going to give us these life hacks to
8:43make our lives easy and stuff like this
8:46and you’ll note that that’s not what
8:49Jesus is really about and so John the
8:52Baptist rather than say behold the
8:56he instead invokes the reason why Christ
9:01came and here’s the thorny bit
9:05if you’re not looking for this Messiah
9:08to solve this particular problem that he
9:11legitimately came to solve then there’s
9:13a really good chance that the Jesus that
9:15you’re worshiping is an idol that you’ve
9:19sad but actually true that’s really what
9:23this deals with you’re breaking the
9:24first commandment so what does John the
9:26Baptist say of Jesus Behold the Lamb of
9:30God who takes away the sin of the world
9:31now we look at our sin problem and we
9:34see the consequences of it in the pain
9:37and the Suffering The difficulties that
9:39we go through in our life and we think
9:41if you just deal with the symptoms the
9:44problem will go away no it won’t have
9:46you noticed that when you have a cold
9:48that you can take NyQuil and DayQuil and
9:51you still have a cold the reason why you
9:53still have a cold is because NyQuil and
9:55DayQuil only apply to the symptoms they
9:58ease the suffering But ultimately they
10:00don’t get rid of the cold they they just
10:04mask it so that you can endure it a
10:06little bit better you still have the
10:08virus and when it comes to sin all of
10:10the problems that we have in our life
10:12These are the symptoms of sin and Christ
10:15didn’t come to mask the symptoms he came
10:17to address the root problem it’s self
10:20which means he’s going to have to go to
10:22the Cross he’s going to have to suffer
10:25in your place he is indeed the Spotless
10:27Lamb of God who takes away the sin of
10:30the world and here’s where I will take
10:32issue with the calvinist Jesus is not
10:34the Lamb of God who takes away the sin
10:36of the elect he is this Lamb of God who
10:38takes away the sin of the world and the
10:41Calvinists will protest and say well
10:42then you believe in universalism and you
10:44sit there and go no we do not believe in
10:46universalism you’re missing a category
10:49Theo in your theology but we’ll save
10:51that for another time
10:52indeed Jesus comes to bleed and die for
10:55the sins of the world and this is what
10:59we need it’s not exactly what we’re
11:01looking for it’s not who we’re seeking
11:04and intuitively our intuitions and our
11:07own selfish and sinful desires aren’t
11:09make it so that this kind of Savior this
11:12kind of Messiah is most likely not the
11:14one that we want but believe me when I
11:17tell you this is exactly the Messiah you
11:19need so
11:21John then testifies he says this is he
11:25of whom I said after me comes a man who
11:29ranks before me because he was before me
11:33now wait a second I my memory may be
11:36failing as I get older but I can
11:38remember the Advent text I can remember
11:40the Christmas text remember during
11:42Advent we read Luke chapter one and with
11:45the account of Zechariah and Elizabeth
11:47and the conception of John the Baptist
11:50you’ll note that Elizabeth was was six
11:54months pregnant before the angel Gabriel
11:57appeared to the Virgin Mary which means
12:00John the Baptist got a quicker start he
12:03came before Jesus how can John the
12:06Baptist who’s six months older than
12:09Christ say he what he ranks me because
12:13he was before me
12:15you’re going to note
12:17John the Baptist had a good christology
12:20he understood that Jesus Christ is a
12:23hundred percent man and a hundred
12:25percent God all in one hypostasis in one
12:31personal Union just like you have a body
12:33and a soul and the two come together to
12:36make the one person that you are Christ
12:38has a human nature and a divine nature
12:41they come together in the Incarnation to
12:43make the one Jesus and because of that
12:46by virtue of his divine nature which is
12:48united with his human nature John the
12:50Baptist is Right Jesus does come before
12:54him and he ranks not only John the
12:56Baptist he ranks us all and then he says
12:59I myself I didn’t know him but for this
13:01purpose I came baptizing with water so
13:03that he might be revealed to Israel and
13:06John bore witness I saw the Spirit
13:08descend from heaven like a dove and it
13:10remained on Jesus I myself did not know
13:13him but he who sent me to baptize with
13:15water said to me he on whom you see the
13:18spirit descend and remain this is he who
13:21baptizes with the Holy Spirit and you’ll
13:24note John the Baptist legitimately was
13:26hearing directly from God and the orders
13:29that God gave him are the things that he
13:31actually did John the Baptist didn’t
13:33willy-nilly decide to One Day begin
13:35baptizing God spoke to him and told him
13:38to do these things in preparation for
13:41the arrival of Jesus Christ and so he as
13:44Christ says is truly a prophet and even
13:48more than a prophet
13:49then it goes on I have seen I have borne
13:53witness that this is the son of God
13:58that’s a good witness that he’s bearing
14:01and so you’ll note basically John the
14:03Baptist is saying
14:05listen he’s on the scene here he’s the
14:08son of God I’m not he ranks me he’s
14:11before me and that’s a pretty good sales
14:14pitch if you’re asking me because who’s
14:16he saying this to his disciples
14:19he’s the one he’s the one he’s the one
14:22and that’s exactly correct so the next
14:25day John was standing with two of his
14:28disciples and as he looked at and he
14:31looked and he looked at Jesus as he
14:33walked by and said again Behold the Lamb
14:37of God
14:39and two of his disciples heard him say
14:42and then they followed Jesus
14:46we get what you’re saying here John it
14:48was great it was great working with you
14:50thank you so much for your teaching
14:52thank you so much for calling us to
14:54repent thank you so much for pointing us
14:57to this fellow we are leaving now to go
15:00and follow Christ
15:03and so they
15:05they returned and they followed Jesus
15:08Jesus turned and saw them following and
15:10he said to them what are you seeking
15:14and they said to him Rabbi which means
15:16teacher where are you staying
15:19he said them come and you will see so
15:23they came and they saw where he was
15:25staying and they stayed with him that
15:27day for it was about the tenth hour now
15:30one of the two who heard John speak and
15:33followed Jesus was Andrew Simon Peter’s
15:37and he first found he first found his
15:39own brother Simon and said to him listen
15:42to the words we have found the Messiah
15:46so John the Baptist points to Christ
15:48says the Behold the Lamb of God who
15:51takes away the sin of the world and
15:53Andrew and this other disciple of John
15:55the Baptist they begin following Jesus
15:57and thou Andrew goes and shares the good
16:01news that they have found the Messiah
16:03with his brother Peter and so we see now
16:07how this is starting to Cascade the
16:09effect that this is having Christ is now
16:11drawing his disciples to himself John
16:13the Baptist is about ready to leave the
16:15scene when it comes to human history in
16:18his last chapter is about to be written
16:20and now his disciples are coming to
16:23Christ and they are going and letting
16:25everybody know but notice that Andrew
16:26didn’t say that Behold the Lamb of God
16:29who takes away the sin of the world he
16:30was able to put two and two together and
16:32was able to say this is the Messiah we
16:35have found him so he brought Peter to
16:39Jesus and Jesus looked at him and said
16:41so you are Simon the son of John
16:45you shall be called kephas which means
16:49Peter I always remember one of my old
16:52pastors uh you know Ron Hotel he had he
16:55he took this text and did something kind
16:57of funny with it he would say well look
16:59at here Jesus is changing his name to
17:01Peter and Peter is John’s son he’s the
17:04son of John so he said he basically from
17:07day one renamed him Rocky Johnson okay
17:10and and here’s the thing he’s not wrong
17:13he’s yeah Pastor hodle was not wrong in
17:16this account so what does it all mean
17:18for us what does this text mean this
17:21second Sunday of the Epiphany as Christ
17:23continues to be manifested and revealed
17:25to us through these texts it’s important
17:28for us to recognize that our sinful
17:30nature intuitively seeks after and
17:34creates idols and the Jesus we may be
17:37intuitively looking for maybe a figment
17:40of our sinful imaginations the Jesus we
17:44need is the one who takes away the sin
17:46of the world your sin and mine and no
17:50point in seeking after a different Jesus
17:52one that will only mask the symptoms of
17:55sin you need the the Savior the one
17:57revealed in scripture the one who is
17:59true who has come to take away your sins
18:02so that he might lead you through death
18:05and the resurrection to life eternal in
18:09a world where there will be no sin in
18:11this world we will continue to
18:13experience the consequences and the
18:16result of our sin the world’s sin your
18:20neighbors sin your wife’s sin your
18:22husband’s sins your brother’s sins your
18:25sister’s sins your cousins sins you on
18:27and on and on and on and on
18:29Christ has not come to put a Band-Aid on
18:32our problem
18:33he’s saving us through all of this so if
18:36the Jesus you are seeking only gives you
18:39temporal relief that’s Pepto-Bismol
18:42Jesus and that’s not what you need you
18:44need something more than temporal relief
18:46you need true relief and only Jesus the
18:50Lamb of God who takes away the sin of
18:51the world is capable of giving that so
18:54let us again consider what we what our
18:57motivations are what our intents are
18:59what our desires are regarding Christ
19:01and the church and let us put away our
19:04idolatrous desires and instead seek the
19:07one who takes away our sin and Promises
19:10eternal life because he took our sins
19:13upon himself and he suffered in our
19:16place so that we can be forgiven and
19:18reconciled and promised in inheritance
19:20so I’ll ask the question of that Christ
19:23asks his disciples
19:25what exactly are you seeking
19:29seek the one who truly can save you in
19:32the name of Jesus Amen
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