Biblical Text: John 1:6-8, 19-28
It is interesting to me how different John the Baptist is in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) from the Gospel of John. Not impossible to reconcile, especially when you consider the reasons for the Synoptic portrayal, but the evangelist John has a much different purpose. The Baptist is not so much the last Old Testament prophet as a Christian pattern. To the evangelist the Baptists is not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor The Prophet. He is simply a witness to the light that all might believe. Which is not so different from the Christian calling – to be a witness to the light.
And it is in that witness that the Christian finds their authority. The authority to make straight the paths. Discerning what that means in any issue is not easy, but like John, if you have people asking you “who do you think you are?” You have an answer. I am a witness.
Personal note: Most sermons you have a vague idea how they might be received. It is the sermons that you are attempting to say something a little deeper that you don’t know. Sometimes you love it, but it was too personal and just confuses people. Sometimes you don’t like it (but the clock has run out) and people like it much better than you expect. Sometimes you divide congregations. This is one that I felt right giving. It is also one where the audio contains a couple extra lines in the moment that I think made it better.