Sermon for Epiphany 2 – 1.15.23

+ 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany – January 15th, 2023 +

Series A: Isaiah 49:1-7; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

Beautiful Savior Lutheran

Milton, WA


“Can I Get A Witness?”


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


If you’ve ever seen, or been involved in a traffic accident, a police officer on the scene will ask you to give a statement. You were an eye witness. What did you see, hear, etc.?


If you’ve ever sat in a courtroom on jury duty you listen and to a handful of people who are called and take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They are witnesses. Witness is one who testifies to the truth. Who speaks the truth.


This morning’s Scripture readings are full of witnesses. God calls his prophet Isaiah to the stand for Israel; he is a witness to the coming chosen Messiah, the Christ, Jesus. He is the servant Isaiah is foretelling.


God calls St. Paul, likewise to be a witness, to the Christians in Corinth in the 1st century, and to us, God’s people in the 21st century. Paul was sent as God’s apostle, his witness, to testify to the truth, to confirm the testimony of God’s Word to his people.


God calls his next witness forward; “John the Baptist, take the stand.” John bears witness. John testifies. John speaks the truth. John saw Jesus coming, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!


John was, and remains, God’s witness. John testifies that this Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem of the Virgin Mary, who grew up in and came from Nazareth, who went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John, this Jesus who is fully man and fully God. True God and true Man. He is the servant Isaiah and all the prophets until John bore witness to. He is the Christ, the anointed one, that the Old Testament has been testifying about since Genesis 3:15.


John is a witness, so John speaks. After all, what good is a witness who stays silent. A witness must speak the truth. John can’t help but speak. John bears witness to the One who came to bear our sin; behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

So, John did what God sent him to do. John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”

John was witness. Not for his sake. Not for gain. Not for fame. Not for power. Hardly. Look at where his preaching eventually got him…in Herod’s prison. Martyred. A word that means witness.


John was a witness to the Christ, Jesus, the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world. And yet John was also a witness for those around him. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Your sin. My sin. John’s sin. His disciples’ sin. All sin will be laid on Jesus the sacrifice, the savior, the servant. That’s John’s witness to you just as it was to his disciples. He pointed them to Jesus. That’s what a Christians do. Point to Jesus.


The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.


That’s the whole Christian faith and life in a nutshell right there. John believes in and confesses Christ. We are called to believe in him and confess his name. John points to the cross: Behold the Lamb. The sacrifice. The payment for sin. The death that causes death to pass over us and onto him. We point our family, friends, neighbors, and those we know in our daily life/vocations to the cross. Point them to Jesus, the Lamb of God. And the disciples heard John’s word, which was God’s word in John’s mouth, and they followed Jesus. You also hear God’s word. You are here this morning because you follow Jesus. Because he brought you here, as he always does, by his grace.


John was and still is God’s witness. And so are we, the body of Christ here at Beautiful Savior. As our congregation celebrates our 60 year anniversary last year and this year, we remember and give thanks to God for the past 60 years of pointing our members, community, preschool, and neighbors to Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


As a congregation we are witnesses to each other yes, and to others around us as well.


Beautiful Savior’s evangelism committee is gathered right here this morning. Each and every one of you are witnesses too. You may not stand in the Jordan river wearing camel’s clothing and eating locusts and wild honey – thankfully! But you are witnesses all the same. Here our Lord equips and prepares you for service in your daily callings.


Here our Lord speaks and you listen and follow. Here is the Lamb of God who takes away your sin as he feeds you his body and blood, as he washes away your sin, as he gives you his word to witness to his grace towards you. Here our Lord Jesus feeds and nourishes you in His Word and Sacraments so that when you go out into your daily vocations, you go as a little “John the Baptist”, serving God in whatever vocation in life he has given you, in the home, at church, in the world. And it is there, in your daily vocations where you are given opportunities to point to Jesus. To be a witness to the truth. To speak. Not for fame. Gain. Power. But so that others may hear the good news: Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away your sin. Like John the Baptist, we can’t help but speak this good news.


What good is a silent witness. Do not be a witness that is silent. Or silenced by the world that hates you, by the devil who haunts you, and by your sinful flesh that offers you no help. A witness must speak the truth.


Do not be afraid. The God who called John to be his witness is with you as you bear the name of Jesus. The Lamb of God who stood in the Jordan as John pointed to him, who hung on the cross, and who stood beside his empty tomb – stands with you as you witness, testify, and speak: Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.


Do not be afraid. Jesus, the God-man who was born for you, crucified for you, and rose for you is, as Paul says, faithful, so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; he will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.



Beautiful Savior

is a traditional Lutheran Church, faithful to God's Word and His Sacraments. We equip God's people to serve, love, and encourage one another as we grow in our personal relationship with Christ. We reach out to the community as beacons of light, sharing the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Savior.

Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 8:30am-3:30pm

Friday 8:30am-11:30am

The office is closed on Fridays during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Preschool Office Hours

August - May
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

By appointment only June and July


2306 Milton Way
Milton, WA 98354
(253) 922-6977
(253) 922-6977