Monday, January 7, 2018
Luke 3:16-17: John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, to clear His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire."
"The set up man" is a term used in baseball to describe the pitcher who came into a game just before the closer, the pitcher who ended the game without the other team winning. The "set up man" was the one who prepared the game for the closer so that the closer would come in and finish the game.
John the Baptist:
John the Baptist was Jesus' "set up man." John "prepared the way" as the prophets long before foretold. John knew what his role was. John said later, "I must decrease. He must increase." After John, it was all about Jesus who John called, "The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world."
Yet here is the kicker. John is setting US up for Jesus, not the other way. John is prepare US for Jesus' arrival. John is making us aware of the great and awe full work of Jesus.
Set Up for Jesus:
John is making sure that we are ready for the work that is about to happen. John is preparing us for the judgment.
We will be judged. The judgment is simple. Either live according to the human nature that does not want to honor God and thereby burn in the unquenchable fire forever. OR, believe in the salvation of Jesus' life, death, resurrection, and ascension and live in Jesus' presence both now and forever.
We Have an Opportunity:
"Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." Believe and live according to the grace and mercy of God. John the Baptist is setting us up for life, which is the life of Jesus.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.