Roger's Postings

Friday, January 17, 2014

John 1:29-42.     Your Witness of the Lamb of God????                                    19/1/14

 {29)  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! {30} This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.' {31} I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." {32} Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. {33} I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, 'The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' {34} I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God." {35} The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. {36} When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, "Look, the Lamb of God!" {37} When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. {38} Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, "What do you want?" They said, "Rabbi" (which means Teacher), "where are you staying?" {39} "Come," he replied, "and you will see." So they went and saw where he was staying, and spent that day with him. It was about the tenth hour. {40} Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. {41} The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). {42} And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).

 Do your neighbours and the people you come into contact with know that you are a Christian? Are they in any doubt as to what you believe? Perhaps even more to the point, do they get to know the importance of the Lord Jesus and his death on the cross, as a result of their contact with you? Are we pointing them to Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins that is there for us all through his life, death and resurrection?

 Or perhaps do they simply know you as the good person that you are? Is it that as a result of what they see and hear from us, is that Christianity is all about good morals and being a reasonable and tolerant person? Or is it that they see us as self-righteous, nitpickers who pick on everyone who is not like us? Do they see us as people who live life as we please and then use our irregular church attendance as some sort of crutch or ‘two way bet’? If this is the case, it is very sad. In fact it is downright tragic.

 Here let us remember our whole life is a witness. Every life is a witness. It is a matter of what are we witnessing to. We often are quite good at witnessing to the fact that we are very capable and talented people; good family people; well educated; and the like. Or that our money, possessions and leisure is important to us. In this regard we need to reflect on the fact that the things that we talk repeatedly about and are involved in are the things that we so often see as important. Others see that and take it that this is what makes life tick for us.

 So what is it that we so often talk about, think about and focus on in our lives? A follow up to that is, is this consistent with what our Lord would be happy about? I would suggest that all too often our focus does not match with what should be there. I know in my own life as I critically assess what I think and say in this regard, that all too often I am placing myself and my own thinking and desires into the situation, rather than allowing our Lord and what he wants, to be what is important. Too often I witness to my own knowledge, or to numbers that we have or don’t have, or how I have been hurt, or any number of other things.

 So our focus and witness all too often is not on our Lord Jesus, but something else. We fill our lives with all sorts of other thoughts and concerns, to such an extent that Christ is pushed from the centre. His Sprit is there trying to work in and through our lives, but we don’t give him a chance. He wants to focus our thoughts, lives and witness on Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins that he has won for us through his death on the cross, but instead we focus on ourselves and what we want. He wants to help us share the Good News with others, but we would sooner leave that to others, so that we do not have to make ourselves unpopular with an unbelieving world around us.

 But it is here again that we need to remember that as Christians we will witness to that which is all important to us; "Look, the Lamb of God!" Jesus Christ and the forgiveness of sins through his death on the cross. Surely that is what is important to us. Absolutely vital! After all he came into our world because of our sin and the absolute hopelessness that we have from a human perspective. He knew that because of our disobedience we were facing an eternity in Hell. There is no way that we could be saved by the things we do. We were and are in dire straits without him.

 But thankfully he did come and die in our place. He did become the sacrificial lamb which takes away the sin of the world. He has ensured that we have full forgiveness of all of our sins. He has won for us life and salvation. He now does have a place for us with himself in heaven. He does have a better way for us to now live and act. And so much more.

  Having bought us from death to give us life with himself surely is the greatest thing in the world that has ever and could ever happen to us. Surely that is what we cannot help but live and breathe. Surely now we cannot help but live and talk Jesus Christ. Surely!

 Here let us take John as an example of one who knew the importance of Jesus and our witness to him. Very quickly we can see that he was very eager to point other away from himself to Jesus. Because he was so amazed, overwhelmed, or whatever by the fact that here was God’s Son come to save his people, and he wanted others to know it. It is important that others knew that this was so. So the Spirit of God was able to do what he wanted to do in John’s own life.

 That Spirit drove him out into the desert to do that which was unpopular. That Sprit lead him to proclaim that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Even though Jesus had not yet died on the cross he points to this one who would make forgiveness of sins, life and salvation available to humanity. He could not help but tell others of this one who was so important to us all. He told Andrew, who told Peter, and on it went. That witness has gone on and on down through the ages; right down to the point where someone has passed that message on to us personally.

 But what are we here now going to do about it? Are we prepared to pass that message on to the next generation and to those out there around us who are not Christians? Or are we going to sit back and calmly and silently let them go to Hell? Are we going to simply tell them that it is church politics, good morals, or whatever that is what is important in life?

 No surely we too know that Jesus Christ is who and what is all important. Surely we also will want to pass on the Good News of Jesus to our children and the people around us, as that which is the greatest thing that anyone could have and be a part of. The Lamb of God has come; he has sacrificed himself in our place. This is too good to keep to ourselves.

 So may Jesus Christ have that central, most important place in our lives. Let us take the time to be here in Divine Service, so that his Spirit can work in our lives through Word and Sacrament so that we are able to remain firm and strong in the Faith. Then may he also guide us as we go about our daily lives, seeing and speaking of the importance of Jesus Christ for us and for those around us.

 To be a Christian; to be a witness  to Jesus Christ is not and will not always be easy; particularly as our country becomes more and more ungodly. It is time though for us to stand up and be counted. Is Christ and the cross important for us, or is it the things that our world has to offer? Even as Christians, too often it is me and what I think and do that is important, not Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. As we proclaim him and his death on the cross we will be given a hard time, but we also have God’s promise that his Word will not come back empty. It will produce result; either salvation or eternal destruction. In the end we are told, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. For some that will mean to their damnation because the have rejected it. Others however it will be to their salvation and his eternal glory.

 With God’s help we can be witnesses to the great importance of this Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God. Or more to the point, he will do it in and through us if we do not reject him. We can thereby stand up and let it be seen to others that Christ and what he has done for us is what is truly important in life. Here let us have an urgency about it, so that we might be able to help some of the many out there who are blindly on the road to Hell. Let us help them to see that Jesus is their Lord and saviour; and not some meaningless fantasy of a bygone era. So may our Lord fill your life so that your witness will be to him and the salvation that he has made possible for us all. To him be all glory and honour, now and always. AMEN.

 Pastor Roger Atze
Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish




Post a Comment

<< Home