Sermon Transcript – The King of Israel Is In Your Midst

Series C – Third Sunday of Advent – Sunday, December 13, 2015 | 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 Luke chapter 7 verses
0:34John’s disciples told him about all
0:37these things calling two of them he sent
0:39them to the Lord to ask are you the one
0:41who was to come
0:43or should we expect someone else
0:45when the men came to Jesus they asked
0:48and they said John the Baptist sent us
0:50to ask are you the one who was to come
0:52or should we expect someone else at that
0:55very time Jesus cured many who had to
0:57seize his sicknesses and evil spirits
0:59and he gave sight to many who were blind
1:01so he replied to The Messengers go back
1:04and report to John what you have seen
1:05and heard the blind received sight the
1:07lame walk those who have leprosy are
1:10cured the deaf hear the dead are raised
1:13the good news is preached to the poor
1:15blessed is the man who does not fall
1:18away on account of me after John’s
1:21Messengers left Jesus began to speak to
1:23the crowd about John what did you go out
1:25into the desert to see a reed swayed by
1:28the wind well no if not what did you go
1:31out to see a man dressed in fine clothes
1:33no those who wear expensive clothes and
1:36indulge in luxury are in palaces
1:39but what did you go out to see a prophet
1:42yes I tell you and more than a Prophet
1:45this is the one whom it is written I
1:48will send my messenger ahead of you who
1:50will prepare your way before you I tell
1:52you among those born of women there is
1:54no one greater than John yet the one who
1:57is least in the kingdom of God is
1:58greater than he and all the people
2:01even the tax collectors when they heard
2:03Jesus’s words acknowledge that God’s way
2:06was right because they had been baptized
2:08by John but the Pharisees and Experts of
2:11the law rejected God’s purpose for
2:13themselves because they had not been
2:15baptized by John to what then can I
2:18compare the people of this generation
2:19what are they like well they’re like
2:21children sitting in the marketplace and
2:23calling out to each other well we played
2:25the flute for you and you didn’t dance
2:26we sang a dirge and he didn’t cry for
2:30John the Baptist came neither eating
2:32bread nor drinking wine and you say he
2:34has a demon the son of man came eating
2:36and drinking and you say here’s a
2:38glutton and a drunkard and a friend of
2:39tax collectors and sinners
2:42wisdom is proved right by all of her
2:45children in the name of Jesus
2:48all right here again our epistle texts
2:50to kind of lead things off rejoice in
2:52the lord always again I will say rejoice
2:57Paul wrote these words from prison
2:58rejoice in the lord always
3:02I don’t know how many of you could write
3:04such a sentence if you found yourself
3:06incarcerated for preaching the gospel
3:08and yet Paul writes these things and you
3:10can kind of think of today you know this
3:13third Sunday of Advent as Rejoice Sunday
3:16it’s Rejoice Sunday there’s a lot of
3:19interplay on rejoicing here and also
3:22kind of interplay on light and darkness
3:24we’ll talk about that so let your
3:26reasonableness be known to everyone the
3:28Lord is at hand don’t be anxious about
3:30anything but in everything by prayer and
3:32supplication with Thanksgiving let your
3:34requests be made known to God well there
3:37goes that whole theology you don’t need
3:39to pray you just need to decree and
3:40declare things here Paul says very
3:42clearly let your requests your petitions
3:45be made known to God in other words when
3:47we pray we don’t demand things from God
3:49and say I have faith and I decree and
3:51declare no we humbly on our knees say
3:53Lord we need these things in your mercy
3:55please grant them and he being God May
3:58answer our prayers with a yes he may
4:00answer them with a no or he might say
4:02something to the effect of you know I
4:04understand you need that but I’m going
4:06to tweak your request a little bit so
4:08that what you have asked for doesn’t
4:10harm you right this is how God is
4:13so the Peace of the Lord which surpasses
4:15all understanding this will guard your
4:16hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
4:19this frames our thoughts then as we
4:21return to Our Gospel text and I’ll be
4:24reading from my translation
4:26here’s what it says his disciples
4:28reported to John about all these things
4:30and having some in a certain two of his
4:32disciples John sent them to the Lord
4:35saying are you the one coming
4:39or should we should we be looking for
4:42another one someone else
4:45it’s an interesting question keep in
4:47mind that the Gospel of John writes of
4:49John the Baptist in chapter one there
4:51was a man sent from God whose name was
4:53John he came as a witness to Bear
4:55witness about the light that all might
4:57believe through him he was not the light
4:59but he came to bear witness about the
5:02light the True Light which gives light
5:04to everyone was coming into the world so
5:07John the Baptist the Forerunner of
5:10was that not the light but he was to
5:13Bear witness to the light and so he did
5:14but now he finds himself in a dark
5:18in prison in herod’s prison
5:21for doing what preaching repentance
5:23preaching repentance is a dicey business
5:26it could get you in a lot of trouble
5:29John should let you know that but that’s
5:32okay but so it says to this so John has
5:35heard the reports of Jesus he’s in
5:37prison okay he wanted wants to make sure
5:40he hasn’t run his course in vain but
5:42what’s getting to John is kind of mixed
5:44reports remember when John preached
5:46about Jesus repent repent he’s spitting
5:49grasshopper legs at people you know he’s
5:51smelly he looks awful he’s dressed
5:53terribly he’s got this kind of wild
5:55wilderness man thing going on right
5:58and he’s telling people when he comes
6:01his winnowing Fork is in his hand he’s
6:03going to take the wheat into his barn
6:05but the chaff he’s going to burn up this
6:07is John’s message and then Jesus shows
6:10up on the scene and you know what Jesus
6:11is doing
6:13he’s forgiving prostitutes
6:16he’s absolving tax collectors
6:20all the Sinners are coming around the
6:22lepers you know the Untouchables the one
6:24that God’s law demands that they stay
6:26outside of the city and say unclean
6:29unclean Jesus is touching them
6:33and healing them
6:36all of the outcasts all of those kicked
6:38to the curb by the God’s law
6:40all of that rabble all of those Sinners
6:43all of those sick people
6:45they’re being healed forgiven
6:48and of course the Pharisees they’re not
6:51very impressed with this
6:53and so John in that dark prison
6:56is hearing reports yeah Jesus is going
6:59around he’s doing all these things but
7:01he’s like hanging out with tax
7:03collectors and prostitutes so John has
7:06one of those moments where
7:09his cousin Jesus really the dude or not
7:13he didn’t say dude but you kind of get
7:15the point
7:17so having come to Jesus the men said
7:20John the Baptist sent us forth to you
7:23saying are you the one coming or should
7:27we be looking for another now Jesus
7:29could have just simply said yeah I’m the
7:31Messiah yeah go tell that to John but
7:33here’s what how he answers it he says at
7:36that hour he cured many from diseases
7:38and scourges and evil spirits he granted
7:41seeing to many blind ones and having
7:43responded he said to them
7:46go and report to John the things which
7:49you saw and you heard blind ones are
7:53seeing again lame ones are walking
7:55lepers are being cleansed deaf ones are
7:58hearing dead ones are being raised poor
8:01ones are having good news announced to
8:03them all of these are fulfilled
8:06of the Old Testament regarding the
8:08Messiah which would unequivocally
8:10communicate to John the Baptist yeah I’m
8:14the one don’t expect anybody else but
8:17it’s fascinating in that list of
8:19fulfilled prophecies there’s one
8:22particular fulfilled prophecy of
8:24prophecy regarding the Messiah that
8:26Jesus doesn’t have reported to John
8:29and one of the Prophecies of the Messiah
8:31is that he would set the prisoners free
8:35but John was not going to be set free
8:38he was going to die
8:40and be martyred for proclaiming and
8:43being a bearing witness to the light so
8:45I didn’t want to give him any false
8:47hopes so let him know
8:49that the blind ones are seeing lepers
8:52are being cleansed deaf ones are hearing
8:55dead ones are being raised poor ones are
8:57having good news announced to them and
8:59then Jesus says this and blessed is
9:01whoever does not take offense in me
9:06it really is offensive to the religious
9:09it’s self-righteous that all this rabble
9:11all of these Sinners these Tax
9:13Collectors prostitutes lepers blind ones
9:16all of these people who were clearly
9:17born in sin
9:19that they’re being forgiven and restored
9:23free they don’t even have to pay for it
9:26there’s nothing they have to do just
9:28receive Jesus is like Santa Claus on
9:31Christmas handing out all these gifts to
9:33these people but these aren’t cute
9:35children these are sinners he’s handing
9:37these gifts out to God doesn’t suppose
9:39isn’t supposed to operate that way it’s
9:42supposed to work off the quid pro quo
9:44you do your part and then God is
9:47supposed to do his part you pay your
9:49tithe God blesses you you obey God
9:53blesses you Jesus has taken all of this
9:55and just turned it right upside down
9:57you are a sinner God forgives you it’s
10:00not supposed to work that way
10:02and yet it was
10:04there was Jesus handing out Mercy
10:07forgiveness healing and Grace
10:11and the Pharisees are offended
10:14the self-righteous usually are you
10:17forgiveness can’t be that free
10:20I understand that it’s a gift but come
10:22on somebody’s got you got to pay a
10:24little bit for it right
10:26this is how they operate that’s how they
10:28think no free means free gift means gift
10:32get over it
10:34you don’t like the fact that that sinner
10:35is being forgiven well just imagine how
10:38offended somebody is that God can
10:40forgive you
10:42that’ll quiet the conversation down a
10:44little bit by the way right
10:46so Jesus says blessed is whoever does
10:49not take offense in me
10:53intermission here again the words of our
10:55Old Testament text sing aloud o Daughter
10:58of Zion shout o Israel rejoice and exult
11:03with all of your heart o daughter of
11:04Jerusalem the Lord has taken away the
11:07judgments against you
11:09he’s cleared away your enemies the king
11:12of Israel the Lord is in your midst and
11:14you shall never again fear evil you see
11:17all of these things were happening
11:19because the king of Israel Yahweh
11:21himself was in their very midst
11:24and yet keep this in mind
11:27Jesus says we’re two or more are
11:30gathered in my name he is there
11:32in their midst
11:35the king of Israel the Lord himself
11:38he’s even in our midst today forgiving
11:41and handing out his great mercy and
11:44verse 24.
11:46from the gospel text so the messengers
11:49of John having Departed
11:51Jesus began to speak to the crowds about
11:53John I love Jesus’s kind of
11:56tongue-in-cheek here so what did you go
11:58out into the Wilderness to look at a
12:00reed blowing and shaken by the wind
12:02little joke right no would you go out to
12:05see a man having dressed in soft
12:07garments no behold the ones being in
12:10glorious clothing and luxury they’re in
12:12Royal places
12:13so what did you go out to see a prophet
12:17and there it is
12:18Jesus makes it very clear that John the
12:21Baptist is a prophet
12:23but he’s more than that Jesus says
12:25yes a prophet and I say to you more than
12:28a prophet you’re the reason why is
12:29because he’s kind of like part Prophet
12:31part gospel preacher truly he’s the last
12:34of the Old Testament prophets and the
12:36first of the evangelists
12:38so I say to you more than a Prophet this
12:40is the one about whom it has been
12:42written and you can find this in Malachi
12:44chapter 3 starting at verse 1. behold I
12:48am sending forth My Messenger ahead of
12:50your presence who will make your way
12:53ready in front of you I say to you no
12:56one is greater among ones born of women
12:59than John now real quick
13:02let’s understand what Jesus is saying
13:04here that there is no one greater among
13:07those born of women you can kind of
13:09think of it this way at the end of the
13:11day if you were wondering okay when it’s
13:14all tallied on the day of judgment who
13:16really was the one who was the holiest
13:19of the Holy among the Sinners of Earth
13:22you know if you pull out God’s law and
13:25that’s your standard right how you know
13:27how do you measure up right is it Mother
13:30Teresa is she coming in on top is it
13:33going to be Billy Graham who’s it going
13:35to be
13:36John the Baptist
13:38according to the law the one who lived
13:41the holiest life is not Mother Teresa
13:44it’s not it’s not Billy Graham it’s not
13:46anybody today definitely not any of the
13:49televangelists I just want to make that
13:52it’s John the Baptist but then Jesus
13:55says this
13:58but the least one in the kingdom of God
14:02is greater than he the least
14:05that means the most forgiven sinner I
14:10that something like that has something
14:11to do with the gospel I don’t know how
14:14least and greatest are kind of worked
14:16out in the Kingdom of Heaven but I do
14:18know this everybody who’s truly a part
14:21of the Kingdom of Heaven they are
14:23forgiven sinners
14:26and so however that is judged by God
14:29greatest least apparently there’s some
14:32kind of a way of working all of this out
14:34you know and you think there just before
14:37you think you know that maybe that means
14:39that like the prostitute who is trusting
14:42in Jesus for the Forgiveness of our sins
14:44maybe she’s the least but see the thing
14:46is it takes a lot of faith to believe
14:48that those kinds of sins can be forgiven
14:50and that it’s truly for you that would
14:52probably she would not be the one who’s
14:54the least in the Kingdom of Heaven she
14:56might be closer to the top to the
14:59maybe the least in the Kingdom of Heaven
15:01is the pastor who preached the gospel
15:04his entire life and barely believed it
15:08or didn’t think that he really needed
15:10that much forgiveness
15:12that guy could really be the least right
15:14and you think what a scoundrel that guy
15:17is right what a scoundrel so according
15:20to Jesus even that forgiven sinner is
15:23way greater
15:25than John the Baptist in the Kingdom of
15:29because what is it that makes us great
15:31in the Kingdom of Heaven
15:34his Mercy his forgiveness his
15:36righteousness that covers our sin and
15:38shame so notice the interplay here John
15:41the Baptist the greatest among all the
15:43people that will ever be born of a woman
15:45according to the law but even the most
15:48rotten of the rotten in the Kingdom of
15:50Heaven is way greater than he is
15:53what these this is good news these are
15:56comforting words
15:58so all the people having heard Jesus
16:02even the tax collectors and now here’s
16:04this is going to be an interesting
16:07the NIV gets at this a little bit better
16:09than the ESV but here’s how I translate
16:11it all of these people having heard
16:13Jesus even the tax collectors and they
16:16Vindicated God
16:18they showed God to be true
16:21because they have been baptized with
16:23baptism of John
16:26God is Vindicated by his children God is
16:30Vindicated and shown to be true by Those
16:33whom he has had mercy on those who’ve
16:36been brought to penitent Faith who trust
16:38in him for the Forgiveness of their sins
16:40that’s what Jesus is saying but here’s
16:42what it says then but the Pharisees and
16:45the experts in the law they rejected the
16:48purpose of God for themselves not having
16:52been baptized by John
16:55this is utter foolishness
16:57this is utter foolishness now notice
17:00here that God’s purpose for the Pharisee
17:03and these experts in the law his purpose
17:06for them was the exact same purpose even
17:09for the rabble that he had that they
17:11repent that their sins are washed away
17:14that they are forgiven why because God
17:17is rich in Mercy he can forgive even you
17:20and so the Pharisees they come to hear
17:23John and you know what they say that’s
17:27okay we’ll pass we don’t need to be
17:29baptized we’re good people we keep the
17:32law we don’t need to be forgiven and
17:35have our sins washed away and to which
17:37although the Norwegian said ufta
17:42and rightly so and rightly so
17:46because the one thing I know about
17:48Pharisees and the one thing I know about
17:50the rabble is that we’re all on the same
17:53level sinner in need of Savior
17:57and there’s the Savior and so John
18:01he baptized them in preparation for the
18:03light to come into the world and
18:05everybody was repenting having their
18:07sins forgiven but the Pharisees said no
18:10thank you we don’t need that and it says
18:12here Jesus said that they have rejected
18:15the purpose of God for themselves
18:17and God’s purpose was to forgive them
18:20how sad
18:22absolutely sad
18:24he would have them forgiven and restored
18:27and their sins washed away and they said
18:29no we don’t need that
18:32and blindly went along with their false
18:35which took them to hell
18:38very sad
18:39again Zephaniah on that day it shall be
18:42said to Jerusalem fear not o Zion let
18:45not your hands grow weak the Lord your
18:47God is in your midst a mighty one who
18:50will save he will rejoice over you with
18:58the Lord who is mighty to save is going
19:00to Rejoice over you and over me
19:04yes God is Vindicated by his holy ones
19:07his forgiven ones he will quiet you by
19:10his love he will exalt over you with
19:13loud singing I will gather those of you
19:16who mourn for the festival so that you
19:18will no longer suffer reproach
19:21this is an amazing passage God is in our
19:24midst mighty to save
19:28and he will exalt over us with gladness
19:30that’s how much his love is for us it’s
19:33like a father exalting over his son
19:36that’s the kind of love that’s being
19:37described here back to our gospel
19:40so then Jesus said what then will I
19:42liken the people of this generation
19:44well what are they like well they’re
19:46like children sitting in the marketplace
19:48calling to one another say well we
19:49played the flute and you didn’t dance
19:52who doesn’t dance when the flute’s
19:54playing right I mean every time I hear a
19:56fluid I start to do a little jig right
19:59okay so we played a dirge
20:02he didn’t Lament
20:08we were lamented and you didn’t weep all
20:09right so
20:11John the Baptist he’s come not eating
20:14bread nor drinking wine and you say he
20:16has a demon
20:18Son of Man Has Come eating and drinking
20:20and you say behold this man’s a glutton
20:23and a drunkard
20:25and a friend of tax collectors and
20:29oh yes he is
20:31yes he is Jesus truly is a friend of tax
20:36collectors and sinners
20:39that means he’s our friend
20:41because as I look across
20:45the congregation here all I see are
20:49and the good news is that Christ truly
20:52is the Friend of Sinners and you think
20:53what’s going on in this text well Jesus
20:55is describing those Pharisees and let me
20:58quote Cyril Alexandria on this just to
21:01throw something exotic as far as a quote
21:03is still a cereal of Alexandria
21:05commenting on this says the prophet’s
21:07words will apply to us woe to them that
21:10call evil good and good evil who call
21:13Bittersweet and Sweet Bitter who put
21:15light for darkness and darkness for
21:17light this was the character of the
21:20Israelites especially of those who were
21:22their Chiefs the scribes namely and the
21:24Pharisees Christ said about them to what
21:26shall I liken the men of this generation
21:28talk about blindness
21:30this is what Jesus is describing they
21:33see John the Baptist and they don’t
21:35repent that’s like somebody playing the
21:38flute and you don’t dance or somebody
21:39playing a dirge and you don’t lament or
21:42weep it doesn’t make any sense that’s
21:44calling light Darkness
21:47it’s worse than that it’s calling
21:49Darkness light
21:50and so that’s how backwards upside down
21:53and inside out the Pharisees are
21:56they’re so backwards inside out they
21:58think that it’s an awful thing that
22:00Jesus is a friend of sinners
22:04but to those who’ve been forgiven
22:07to know that Jesus is a friend of
22:08sinners is not a terrible thing
22:12wonderful thing
22:14because it gives us hope
22:16hope that we can stand on the day of
22:18judgment hope that we do not have to
22:20suffer shame and reproach to suffer the
22:22shame and reproach that comes from God
22:24who says depart from me I never knew you
22:26and rather than hearing those words we
22:29hear welcome into my kingdom well done
22:31good and faithful servant and you say me
22:33how can that possibly be
22:35like I washed you I forgave you
22:39I gave you faith
22:41I fed you with the body and blood of my
22:46how can you not be pleasing to me I have
22:49made you so
22:52and this is why verse 35 Jesus
22:56wisdom was Vindicated by all of her
22:58children God is truly Vindicated by all
23:02who repent and believe and trust in him
23:06for the Forgiveness of your sins
23:09so the Lord is in our midst
23:11mighty to save mighty to save even us
23:15Zephaniah writes again behold at that
23:18time I will deal with all of your
23:19oppressors and who are our oppressors
23:21sin death the devil the world our own
23:23sinful flesh God’s going to deal with
23:25that and I will save the lame and I will
23:27gather the outcast I will change their
23:30shame into praise and Renown in all the
23:34Earth at that time I will bring you in
23:37at that time when I gather you together
23:39for I will make you renowned and praised
23:42among all the peoples of the earth when
23:44I restore your fortunes before your eyes
23:46and the fortune he’s talking about
23:48that’s going to be restored is Paradise
23:52the Earth that was lost when Adam and
23:54Eve sinned
23:56that plunged us into the curse as it was
23:59in the beginning it will be forever he’s
24:02going to change our fortunes all of the
24:04curse goes away and it’s nothing but
24:07perfect Paradise face to face with God
24:11that’s the ultimate Fortune reversal so
24:16let me end with these words from the
24:18hymn that we all know O come O come
24:20Emmanuel two two stanzas and I’ve
24:23changed one word
24:25one word
24:26O come O come Emmanuel and Ransom
24:30captive Israel that Mourns and lowly
24:33Exile here until the Son of God appeared
24:39Emmanuel has come to thee o Israel
24:44O Come Thou day spring come and cheer
24:46our Spirits by thy Dr by thy Advent hear
24:50disperse the gloomy clouds of night and
24:53death’s Dark Shadow put to flight
24:59Emmanuel has come to thee
25:02o Kong’s finger
25:04in the name of Jesus
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