Second Sunday of Advent: Year- A
First Reading: Isaiah 11:1-10: He judges the wretched with integrity.
Second Reading: Romans 15:4-9: Christ is the Saviour of all men.
The Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12: Repent for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Jesus’ Forerunner, John the Baptist:
A Message for All, Mt 3:1-12
God showed His power and His love in giving us the Messiah. Isaiah projects the well known picture of the Messianic rule. Messiah of David’s stock will reveal new qualities of spirit, especially justice as the poor have never known. A new relationship between man and the order of nature will be like Paradise revisited. Prophet Isaiah has been called “the prophet of Advent,” the messenger of God helping us to get ready to receive the Messiah who is going to save us. John the Baptist and Paul also invite us today to prepare ourselves with repentance or conversion to receive the Messiah for our salvation. God displayed his power in giving us the Messiah. The Messiah should be a man filled the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God would endow the Messiah with the wonderful qualities: the spirit of wisdom and of insight, the spirit of counsel and of power, the spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord (the fear of the Lord is his breath-Gen 1:2). The Messiah will bring peace; peace between man and God, man and man and man and the nature in the creation. The Messiah will spread the knowledge of Yahweh to the whole land (Is 11:9). In order to receive the Saviour we must allow the Spirit of God to possess us by repentance or conversion. The Spirit of God has power to change the hearts of a persons from wolves into lambs, chaff, useless straw into precious grain and to start yielding fruit. John called the leaders of the Jews “vipers” snakes whose heart was full of poison and who poisoned people around.
John the Baptist set a blazing example for every minister and believer of the Gospel. His message is a message for all; he speaks to the common person and the religionist alike.
1. John administered in the wilderness of the desert (v.1)
2. His message to the people: Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is near (v.2-6)
a. His message fulfilled prophecy: One’s crying, “prepare”
b. His message was the message of a prophet: He dressed and ate as a prophet
c. His message bore fruit
1) Crowds gathered
2) Crowds confessed and were baptised
3. His message to the religionists, the Pharisees and Sadducees (v.7-10)
a. Warning 1: Flee the wrath to come
b. Warning 2: Repent
c. Warning 3: Heritage is of no value
d. Warning 4: Judgement is at hand
1) Immediate: Now
2) Inevitable: Every unfruitful tree is cast into the fire
3) Basis: Fruit
4. His message to all: Christ-Messianic preaching (v.11-12)
a. Christ is greater…
b. Christ shall baptize…
c. Christ shall judge and purge
1) Gather some
2) Burn some
Thought: God uses the wilderness or desert (quiet places) to prepare and launch the ministry of people. Quietness is essential: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). Meditation is essential (Gen 24:63; Jos 1:8; Ps 1:2;63:6;77:12;119:15,23,48,78,148; 143:5; 1Tim 4:15).
Believers are never alone, no matter how secluded they may be. God is there.
The Gospel began in a wilderness or desert, not in a synagogue or church (Is 32:15; 35:1-2; 51:18-19).
God has the very place for every believer to serve. John’s place was in the wilderness or desert; Jesus Christ’s was in the cities and synagogues as well as the countryside. Believers should witness and prophets should preach wherever they are –in the wilderness or in the cities.
God raises up His servant, His witness, His prophet in His time (v.3).
Preaching is to be to the people. It is to be affirmative, authoritative, positive but not uncertain and negative.
The world should hear, respect and respond to the messenger of God (v.5-6). God forgives sin when a person confesses and repents of his sin (v.6).