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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Second Sunday In
Option #1: "The
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
John Wesleys place in history was that of "field preacher." He wasnt the only one who spoke out in the open areas. Todays text is about the message of the most famous open air preacher, John the Baptist. He was the "voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way for the Lord!"
kayrussoo--always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority which must be listened to and obeyed. (Thayer)
1) A message about repentance and forgiveness of sins
metanoia--Thayer: 1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents
Forgiveness--aphesis 1) release from bondage or imprisonment, 2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty
2) A message about preparing the Kings road before Him
4As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'"
hetoimazo˘:Thayer definition: 1) to make ready, prepare; 1a) to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready; 2) metaphorically: 2a) drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable; 2b) to prepare the minds of people to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings
3) A message about Gods salvation
5Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.
tapeinoo--to depress; figuratively, to humiliate (in condition or heart): abase, bring low, humble (self)
Thayer definition: 1) to make low, bring low; 1a) to level, reduce to a plain 1b) metaphorically, to bring into a humble condition, reduce to meaner circumstances. Note well: the word for "every mountain and hill (being) made low" is the same word for "humility" in the rest of the New Testament.
Parallel verses: Thayers Greek definitions: Luke 1:52, Rom 12:16, James 1:9; Luke 1:52, James 1:9, James 4:6, 1 Pet 5:5, Matt 11:29
Our Lord reminds us that we must humble ourselves so that we may be exalted--cf Matt 23:12; Lk18:9-14.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia: b) the word tapeinophrosune˘ is not found in classical Greek (Lightfoot); in the New Testament (with the exception of 1 Pet 5:5); it is Pauline. In Greek pre-Christian writers, tapeinos is, with a few exceptions in Plato and Platonic writers, used in a bad or inferior sense--as denoting something evil or unworthy. The prominence it gained in Christian thought indicates the new conception of people in relation to God, to themselves, and to others, which is due to Christianity. It by no means implies slavishness or servility; nor is it inconsistent with a right estimate of oneself, ones gifts and calling of God, or with proper self-assertion when called for. But the habitual frame of mind of a child of God is that of one who feels not only that s/he owes all her/his natural gifts etc. to God, but that s/he has been the object of undeserved redeeming love, and who regards her/himself as being not her/his own but Gods in Christ. S/he cannot exalt her/himself, for s/he knows that s/he has nothing of her/himself. The humble mind is thus at the root of all other graces and virtues. Self-exaltation spoils everything. There can be no real love without humility. "Love," said Paul, "vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up" (1 Cor 13:4). As Augustine said, humility is first, second and third in Christianity.
+ + +Children's Message on Luke 3:6The crooked roads shall become straight.
I want to tell you a story about people who lived thousands of years ago. Their lives were much different than ours. In Jesus time, if you wanted to go somewhere, most of the time you walked. Walking 20 miles would take them two days; we can travel that distance in less than Ż an hour.
If you wanted to send a package, it might go by camel or an ox cart. There was no next-day delivery unless it was going just a few miles away. Sometimes the load was carried by a donkey. They would lead the donkey by a rope and he would carry what we call "saddle bags." Sometimes the saddle bags werent equally loaded, so the donkey driver would pick up stones to balance the load. Sooner or later these stones would fall out on the road and no one would bother to pick them up. We have highway department workers to do that job today, but they didnt have them then.
So, when the time came for a very important man to visit your home town, they would send men out to clear the highways of all those stones that fell from the donkeys as they were passing through. The call would go out: The King is coming. Prepare the highway! Clear the road! With the stones removed, they could go straight through instead of on a crooked road.
Well, thats what John the Baptist was telling people to do. He was telling them to prepare the highway for Jesus to come. But he wasnt talking about the interstate highway from Dan to Beersheba. He was talking about our hearts. The Bible says that our hearts are like stone when it comes to hearing Gods Word. We need to get rid of the hard hearts of stone, so that Jesus may come to live there with us.
A long time before Jesus came, Ezekiel spoke for God when he said: (Ezekiel11:19) I will... put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
This Christmas Jesus will be working on your heart with His Word. Listen to Him as much as you can so that your stony heart may be soft and ready for Jesus to come in.
+ + +
"The Divine Rep With
The Divine Rap"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM