Sermon for 12.12.21 Third Sunday in Advent “Are you the one?”

*Sermon for 12.12.21 Third Sunday in Advent Text: Luke 7:18-35 Theme: Are
you the one?*

*In the Name of the Father…Amen.*

*The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.*

*Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*

*Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*

*Come, Jesus, come Messiah Lord,*

*Lost Paradise restore;*

*Lead past the angel’s flaming sword—*

*Come, open heaven’s door. Amen.*


*Poor Freddy! In the musical My Fair Lady, he’s not much of a lover. *

*For the longest time, he pines at a distance for the affections of Eliza
Doolittle, hanging out day after day on the street where she lives. *

*At last, his moment arrives. *

*Eliza is finally fed up with being exploited by Professor ’Enry ’Iggins,
and in the middle of the night she slips away. *

*“Words, words, words,” she’s so sick of words! *

*And there’s Freddy waiting, right where he’s always been. *

*Now Freddy has a gorgeous singing voice, and he speaks almost poetically. *

*But it’s not time for words now. *

*“If you’re in love,” Eliza sings, “show me.” *

*Alas, poor Freddy hasn’t got it in him.*

*Our current culture, for all of its technological marvels, flees from a
foundational question**—**namely, What does it mean to be a human being?*

* A British author, Jonathan Sacks, has aptly described this reality in a
Wall Street Journal article. *

He maintains that secularism has overlooked a hugely important aspect of
humanity: that human beings are, as he says, “animals that seek meaning.”

Providing meaning is something our most familiar secular institutions,
those on which we’ve so come to depend, don’t seem to be doing.

Science explains how things work but doesn’t say why.

Technology enables us to do amazing things, but it can’t offer wisdom into
how that amazing power to build, to harness, should be used for meaningful

The marketplace gives us what seem to be almost unlimited choices these
days but not a hint as to which choice has real value.

The government tells us we’re free to live as we choose, but its very
premise means it won’t help us know how to choose.

Science, technology, the free market, and the government have led to
impressive achievements in discovery, personal autonomy, and comforts.

In many ways, they mark great steps forward in history, and we can be very

But the big questions everyone needs to ask and answer—Who am I? Why am I
here? How then shall I live?—here they come up empty (Jonathan Sacks, “Swords
into Plowshares,” *Wall Street Journal*, October 3/4, 2015, C1).

*Who are you? *

*That is a necessary question, isn**’**t it? *

*How we answer it defines our core identity and shapes our life and
activities. *

*And yet, answering that question**—**Who are you?**—**is not necessarily
so easy.*

*3. You know who you**’**re often told you are.*

*Many come to us with beckoning answers.*

A popular answer among many elites and multiple segments of society is that
you are but a moment in an evolutionary process that’s utterly erratic and
without purpose.

In the grand scheme of things, you’re just a drop in the big pool of
primordial ooze.

Another view is that you’re defined by what you acquire, namely, your
possessions and wealth.

“Shop ’til you drop” or “He who dies with the most toys wins” captures this

Yet another voice suggests understanding yourself in terms of entertainment
and pleasure.

“Whatever makes you happyà do it”

Finally, some people are drawn to power and prestige as the heart and soul
of their lives.

*B. Who of us hasn**’**t felt the influence of some of these answers to the
question, *

Who are you?

*C. What these questions have in common is that God is not the answer!*

To the extent that we adopt one of those answers, we are imitating and
following Adam and Eve in their effort to become their own masters and be “like
God” (see Genesis 3:5–6).

Luther called this foundational sin *incurvatus se*, that is, “turning in
upon one’s self.”

D. All of those answers are not only false; they are also reduce and view
humans as mere material,

“Here today and gone tomorrow.”

“Death is the next logical step in the cycle of life.”

*2. Here is the wonderful truth about who you are.*

*“**God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them**”** (Genesis 1:27). *

*“**The Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into
his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature**”**
(Genesis 2:7).*

*Without any merit or worthiness on our part, God created us in his image
and positioned us as the very peak of his creative labors.*

*Your identity is a gift! *

*You are made for fellowship with God**—**the Blessed and Holy Trinity! *

*The next time you look at your driver**’**s license, think about this for
a moment:*

It has your personal information on it.

Your picture (mug shot) is there.

The seal of the state that issued the license is imprinted.

Imagine if God had put this on your license these words: You are blessed.
You are loved. You are mine and I am yours.

* 1. And this priceless gift of identity is restored to us by the one who
is **“**the one to come**”** (verse 19).*

*John the Baptist**’**s question about Jesus**’** identity, **“**Are you
the one?**”** is crucial for every human being.*

Jesus points to his actions as proof of his identity.

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their
sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are
raised up, the poor have good news preached to them” (verse 22).

These actions fulfilled what Isaiah prophesied concerning God’s future
deliverance in the Messiah. (29:18; 35:5–6)

Jesus’ identity fulfilled the promises of a saving deliverer—the seed of
the woman (Genesis 3:15),

the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,

the seed of David (Matthew 1:1) dying, rising, crushing Satan.

* God gives you your new and wonderful identity in the identity of Jesus.
As Jesus says: **“**Blessed is the one who is not offended by me**”**
(verse 23).*

You are who you are, through Christ, in the gift of your Baptism (Romans 6:3

You know who you are, because of Christ, by the gift of his living voice
through his prophets and apostles (John 8:31–32).

You taste who you are, with Christ, in the gift of his true body and blood
in his Supper (Matthew 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19–20; 1
Corinthians 11:23–25).

You live who you are, in Christ, as the gift of eternal life in him (John
6:40; 10:27–28).

*By Faith in Jesus, Trusting Him in His True Identity, We Receive Our True
Identity as God**’**s Forgiven Children.*


*When the disciples of John the Baptist come to Jesus asking, “Are you the
one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Luke 7:20), Jesus could
have answered with one simple word: *


Or, “Absolutely!”

Or, “You bet I am!”

Or he could preach a sermon.

Instead, he declared: “In that hour he healed many people of diseases and
plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight.”
Then he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard”

*We need to be careful not to ask for Jesus to show us who he is with
miracles on demand; our time now is, in God’s perfect wisdom, the time for
words—and sacraments. *

*But the words Jesus gives us come from one who did indeed first show us by
actions of love—including the greatest action of love, dying for our sins
on a cross. *

*Who are you? You are God**’**s child joined to Jesus**’** atoning, saving
death and his resurrection life. Amen.*


*Let us pray:*

*Come, Thou long expected Jesus, *

*Born to set Thy people free;*

*From our fears and sins release us; *

*Let us find our rest in Thee.*

*Israel’s strength and consolation,*

*Hope of all then earth Thou art,*

*Dear desire of every nation,*

*Joy of every longing heart. Amen.*

*2 Corinthians 13:14* * The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of
God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.*

*The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. *

*In the Name of the Father**…**Amen.*