Advent 3 (Series C)
Scripture: Luke 7:18-28
Hymn: Hark! A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding (LSB 345)

Jesus came into the world to redeem us from our sins and bring us salvation by faith in Him. When John sent his disciples to Jesus, Jesus explained His work to those gathered. He pointed them to the good news of His work and ministry. Jesus calls the people’s attention to the work of the prophet. John was a prophet–the greatest ever born, but still least in the kingdom of heaven.
A prophet is one who speaks the Word of the Lord. John once said that he must decrease and that Christ must increase. That is the point of a prophet. He should be out of the way–pointing to Jesus.
Perhaps it’s like a good television: we watch our shows on the TV, but don’t really realize the screen or the speakers. Instead, we concentrate on the show that we’re watching. That is the case until the picture starts to fade or the speakers get scratchy. In the same way, a prophet comes to give the message of Jesus. He isn’t the center of attention–Jesus is.
What did the people go out into the wilderness to see? They didn’t go to see kings and a show. What did they see when they got to the Jordan and heard John’s message? John wore camel’s hair and a leather belt. He ate locusts and honey.
Pastors also come to speak, not about the Christ, but to speak the Christ into the midst of God’s people. They are not the center of attention, but instead it is Jesus who God is bringing into the midst of you.
What is this message of the prophets and the pastors? It is the cross of Jesus Christ. It is that God has come in human flesh and suffered died, and rose again. This is the joy of Advent, of Christmas and of Easter. This is our joy–for God delights in you. He sends his messengers to prepare the way and then comes into our lives, our hearts, our communities.
A thrilling voice is sounding! God has sent His messengers before his face to prepare each life and each heart for Jesus. Our God has come in the flesh of man and He comes for you. He takes your sins and dies on the cross to pay their price.
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. Amen.