John 1:6-9, 15: No Longer Need We Fear

In life, we face many tormentors, whether in school or those of the spiritual kind—sin and shame, guilt and blame.  The worst tyrant in town is the Devil, who is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).  With His deceit and slander, He seeks to destroy us, taking all the children of men […]

Luke 3:15-22: Baptized for You to Fulfill All Righteousness

When Jesus came the Jordan River for John to baptize Him, the entire Old Covenant came face to face with its Fulfillment. Every saving act of God, from Noah’s flood to the Red Sea, to the Temple sacrifices of atonement, came head to head with the Person to whom they pointed. Those events in the […]

Matthew 11:12-19: Reformation Sermon

It’s damned if you and damned if you don’t. That’s our Lord’s lament for today. God had sent John the Baptizer to prepare the way for Jesus. He preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John came, singing a funeral dirge: “Die to yourself. It’s in the water where you find life […]

Matthew 3:13-17: The Baptism of Our Lord

As Christians, we usually point to Jesus’ death on the cross and say, “That’s why I’m saved.”   And, yet, we often miss that we could just as easily point to Jesus in the water of the Jordan River and say the same: “There is my salvation, forgiveness, and life!” But how can we say that? […]

John 1:19-28: Not the Messiah We are Expecting

Many folks like to talk about themselves, whether they will admit it or not. Such talk can even be a sign of our fallen nature having its way in our lives. Such talk reveals that life is about me–not others, not God, or not even about God for me. But John the Baptizer acted differently. […]

Matthew 11:2-15

John the Baptizer’s disciples knew about depression and darkness.  They had heard their teacher point them to Jesus, proclaiming Him as the long-awaited Messiah.  When they complained to John that Jesus was drawing larger crowds, John told them, “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30).  And when John confronted Herod and challenged him […]

John 1:19-28: Repent!

So, there was John the Baptizer living up to his name and baptizing!  And the Jewish leadership of his day was chafing in discomfort because of it.  So, they confronted him: “Why are you baptizing?”  We can also ask, “Yes, John, why are you baptizing?”  For 2,000 years later, we’re clueless about those baptisms taking […]

The Nativity (Birth) of St. John the Baptizer

John the Baptizer’s dad, Zechariah, is mute.  He can’t speak, for when the angel Gabriel had told him that he would have a son, he did not believe.  He was too old.  His wife, Elizabeth, had already gone through menopause.  So, of course he didn’t believe.  And so, God judged the lips that denied His […]

Sunday, June 24th: The Nativity of St. John the Baptizer

On Sunday, June 24th, we will celebrate the Nativity (birth) of St. John the Baptizer. St. John the Baptizer, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, was born into a priestly family.  An angel of the Lord announced his forthcoming birth to his father (Luke 1:5-23), and shortly after his birth, his aged father sang a […]

The Baptism of Jesus

The Bible begins with baptism.  It starts out, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).  Over the ancient and chaotic creation, there was Spirit and water, water and Spirit.  That’s baptism! Do you remember Jesus speaking to Nicodemus at night?  What did He say?  Jesus said, “I […]