Dunbar UCC
December 15, 2019
Isaiah 35:5, 10
Matthew 11:2-11

No O-fence Jesus

I.      Last week we heard John the Baptist tell everyone that Jesus and the kingdom of heaven are coming.

II.     Now, John has been arrested.  And he’s not so sure — he thinks he made a mistake about Jesus. He thought Jesus was the ONE who would save Israel and the world.  But now he doubts it  BECAUSE NOTHING SEEMS TO BE CHANGING!  The Romans still occupy Israel.  King Herod is still corrupt — and life as mean and cruel as ever.
        John thought Jesus would “CLEAN THE SWAMP! — drive the Romans out, force  the criminal politicians to leave.   “Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” He said.
        But now John’s in prison, and he doesn’t see heaven.

III.    I don’t blame John for doubting Jesus.  If Jesus is the Messiah— then why does the world it still look like this?  The swamp isn’t getting cleaned — it’s growing.
We ask God for help but things aren’t getting better.  Until finally we ask, like John did — are you really the one?  God — are you even there? 
        If you’re there, then why isn’t there a consequence when our leaders lie to us?  In court, when you lie, you go to jail.  But outside of court — you can say anything!  I can tell say anything from here — and ministers are some of the biggest liars! — but I won’t get arrested — I’ll get a successful, nationally syndicated radio show!  Isn’t that crazy?! — In America I can get arrested if I have a beautiful family and we want to work and pay taxes and do good to the society — but you can arrest me if I’m not a citizen.  But if I’m a citizen I can lie to you from morning to night and become president! “So Jesus!” — we scream, “why do you allow this?  Are you the one! — or should we wait for someone else!”

IV.     AND JESUS NEVER SAID, “Yes, I’m the One.” He only said, “The blind see, lepers are healed.  The poor have good news proclaimed to them.  And happy are you who take NO OFFENSE at me.”
        Well that’s the problem — Jesus isn’t the savior we were waiting for.  He helps poor and sick and needy people — the ones in our society we call unfortunate or failures or illegals.  We’re not interested in helping the poor.  Everyone keeps saying:  “It’s the economy.”  That’s what’s important — “So Jesus — if you’re the one — lower my taxes!”
        Look at the catastrophe at our border.  It’s not even news any more —no one even knows - no one cares — how many families were separated from each other, how many died because of poor conditions, how many went back to their countries and were killed on the way or when they returned.  But these are the people Jesus was helping!
        So like John the Baptist — I think we’re looking for someone else.  WE DO TAKE  OFFENSE AT JESUS because he doesn’t want to make us richer — he just wants us to  take care of each other.
        I think if Jesus really is the Christ — he has to cure our blindness.  He has to heal the leprosy in our souls AND MAKE US CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER— THAT’S THE ONLY WAY WE WILL  KNOW HE IS THE ONE.