The word "Advent" is from the Latin verb "veno" to come and the prefix "ad" which means before. We are focusing on how to be ready for Jesus whenever comes. In the Gospel Reading (Matthew 11.2-11) Jesus is explaining what people were looking for in John the Baptist. You can not prepare to meet Jesus or Holy Spirit if you do not know what or who you are looking for.
1. Jesus asks if they were looking for a reed blowing in the wind?
Jesus is teaching about John and Himself by explaining what John was not:
- A reed is weak and is blown about by the wind - John was strong and unchanging in his message. It takes courage to step out of a comfortable life and call people to repent.
- John was passionate about his faith. He was angry at the way the religious leaders of his time had distorted the Hebrew faith.
- He went out to escape the spiritual pollution of the city, be alone and meet God personally.
- When God spoke to him, he obeyed and made the sacrifices required. Jesus describes him as the greatest of the prophets because of his faithfulness.
- Then Jesus says something astounding. He tells the people that even though John is great spiritually, the least spiritual person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John.
- Jesus knows this because he has been there Himself.
- This is an indirect but clear claim to be the long - expected Messiah.
2. Jesus asks the people if they went out to see a king?
Again, Jesus is teaching about John and Himself by explaining what John was not:
· Wealthy and powerful
· Lives in luxury and comfort surrounded by admirers.
· John was poor, had no political power and lived alone in a very hostile environment. Why?
- John wanted to live in a holy spiritual kingdom - the authentic spiritual kingdom of God on earth.
- John needed to get away from the crowds of people who were not really seeking a holy spiritual life.
- This is what you and I are looking for – A SAVIOUR TO HELP US LIVE A HOLY SPIRITUAL LIFE
3. We Need a Saviour to Save Us from Our Sinful Nature
God/Jesus/Holy Spirit is Holy – whole, pure and compete. We are unholy, impure, wounded and broken. It would be like putting an open can of gasoline in the presence of the holy fire of God’s love – not happy. We need a divine Saviour to:
- Cleanse us from our unholiness and sin
- Heal our wounds and brokenness – whatever it is
- Forgive us and cloth us with holiness - so we can be in right-relationship with a holy God
- Teach us, comfort us and Guide us in this holy life
- Strengthen and protect us so we can resist persecution, temptation and false teachers
4. We call our Saviour Jesus
Our Saviour Jesus has already come to us through the beauty and order of creation, the Old Testament prophets, the Biblical stories and work of the earthly Jesus and early Church.
· He continues to come to us in prayer and experiences of the Holy Spirit guiding us, convicting us, healing us and comforting us.
· He will come again bodily form in the End Time to judge the world, root out and destroy the evil and restore its holiness
· He will also judge us when we die and welcome those made holy to our continuing eternal spiritual life of joy in heaven
Today and every day we need to be looking for:
- Personal experiences of Jesus/Holy Spirit in prayer
- The guidance and strengthening of the Holy Spirit