DATE: December 27, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 1:29 – ESV - 9 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Slogans, jingles, eye catching billboards.
Our children are bombarded with the latest in breakfast food cereals. They all know what toys are in because of advertisements. And now advertisers seem to be advertising things that shouldn't even be advertised. The hucksters have made many of our people believe that Betty Crocker and Aunt Jemima are real people. Most still have their doubts about the battery bunny that keeps on going and going and going. Colonel Sanders may be dead, but I have noticed his reincarnation on TV telling me to come on down.
Giant economy sizes boxes with eye-catching designs but which are only half full are the order of the day. Every soap cleans the whitest, every deodorant deodorizes the bestest, every mouthwash kills the germs the deadest, every dish detergent has more suds, every car runs the cheapest, longest and bestest. You can really get caught up in these words.
We know it's happening. We know we're being manipulated, but we still buy. We are carried away by advertising. And at no time is it worse than right now, when the Christian world remembers the coming of the Savior. At no time is it worse than when the commercial rolls out the heavy artillery big guns like Santa.
Yes, it may be the season to be jolly, but it's also the season for advertisers to utilize their wildest imaginations. Now, at this point in time, most ministers launch into their yearly tirade against advertising, the commercialism of Christmas. But that's not what I'm gonna do. Nor did the Lord.
You see, God sent out His own advertising agency. He didn’t employ supermodels, famous athletes or movie stars. John uses no media campaigns or blitzes. He sent out one man, John, the Baptizer to advertise the Savior’s coming.
John made no outrageous claims for the Christ. He merely said: Jesus is the One and Only
Son of God. The One and Only Who can baptize with the Spirit. Jesus is the One and Only Who can save the world from sin. John points to Jesus as the One and Only Redeemer and Lord of Life. John spends his entire life saying that he's unimportant, while Jesus is all important.
Now, I ask you, have you ever heard of such an advertising campaign? Do you know of any other product which would do the same thing? But that’s John. He is God’s living commercial, the highway marker, the billboard that pointed to Jesus.
The question every advertiser wants to know is, "Does the campaign work? Was John successful?"
Well, John got recognition. People came from all over. Even from the big city to see and hear what John had to say. John had quite a number of disciples. John was relatively successful in getting people to repent. He did have quite a number of baptisms. In those terms, John was successful.
In God's eyes, I think He would say John was an unqualified success. Little wonder that Jesus proclaims John as the greatest man who ever lived. Greatest because he never stopped saying, never stopped pointing to Jesus and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the world's sins, that takes away our sins.”
The Baptizer’s voice is one we all should echo. In our time; in our place; in our lives.
THE PRAYER: Lord amplify our voices when we praise You, and minimize us when we do that which disgraces ourselves, Your Word and Your Son. In His Name we pray. Amen.