Is that what the text is trying to say?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Dr Mixer GED, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read and listen to a lot of sermons. One thing I see as a recurring theme, primarily in expository sermons, is material that might be a good lesson to draw from a passage, but not necessarily what that passage was attempting to convey. For example, let's say a verse said a man crossed the street. To me, that says, a man crossed the street. But many I have heard/read would go into a deep study of the verse and draw things out that probably were not meant to be. Why did he cross the road? Who was around? What time was it? What was he wearing, etc.

    Does this make any sense? I struggle with this in my journey to become an effective preacher of God's word and find it difficult, slightly guilty, to find something, anything in a verse or passage to make a sermon out of it.


    I appreciate any and all feedback....
     
  2. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    The goal of expository preaching is to go verse by verse and say what the Bible says and explain it's importance and any possible current application.
    A.) Read the text
    B.) Why it mattered then (explain context if possible)
    c.) Why is it important for us today

    Now, I can't speak for anyone else, but when I am preaching I read those types of verses and say something like, "Ok, just so you know the context of the discussion Jesus is having with (insert person's name or identifier here) the person was crossing the street." Now, if there is something in the passage that supports a reason, maybe it is apparent that Fred was out looking for Jesus, I will mention that. If there does not appear to be a reason, I simply use it as setting the stage or context and move on. If God did not feel the need for us to know why Fred crossed the street there is little reason for me to try to explain it.
     
  3. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    BTW, having the conviction that every verse is God inspired and there for a reason, like I do, can be a challenge for the very reason presented in your OP. It is very tempting to try to explain why some tidbit of information is there. It is good because it can make us dig deeper. It is bad because sometimes we don't want to let it go and we get distracted by a rabbit trail. We have to be able to say, "God put this in for a reason. I believe that with all my heart. However, concerning (insert phrase here) I do not know what that reason is."

    It is possible that as we continue to study we may come across something in another passage or maybe someone else will offer an idea that may help us.

    We must always be willing to admit we don't know or understand something. We must always be learning.
     
  4. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    For instance, take the beginning of Matthew. I have seen several sermons that look at the meaning behind some of the names in the lineage. Now, these are not unbiblical or wrong teachings, and I am sure valuable lessons can be learned from this kind of study, but is that what the text was telling us?

    This is where I personally struggle on what true exegesis is.
     
  5. mont974x4

    mont974x4
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,565
    Likes Received:
    1
    True exegesis would include learning the historical context, as well as literary context, of a given passage.

    Who was the audience of the Gospel of Matthew?
    Why would the genealogy be important to them?
    Why is it important to us?
    Why is it different than the one listed in Luke?

    That last question leads us to ask the same questions of Luke.

    These lists are important.
    What prophecies must be fulfilled in Christ concerning the Messiah and His family tree?

    Do you understand why names are important? Do you understand the place names have in the Jewish culture? How would this impact their understanding of God when we consider the names(and therefor rolls and attributes) of God?

    There is a LOT here! I have barely begun to study these things. Some people devote years of their lives to just these few things. What is important for us this evening, or on an average Sunday morning, is to see them as important and have a brief understanding of why.
     
  6. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I agree and do understand the methods used. I also do know the answers to the questions you've asked (rhetorical or otherwise).

    I guess sometimes it just feels like creating sermons off of things the text wasn't necessarily trying to get across. Am I making sense with what I am trying to convey?
     
    #6 Dr Mixer GED, Feb 3, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012
  7. gb93433

    gb93433
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2003
    Messages:
    15,496
    Likes Received:
    6
    I have seen text stretching too just to make a sermon sound good. That is pride and filled with ego. If a person has studied when then he will deliver a massage filled with information that lends itself to a clear understanding of the text.
     
  8. preacher4truth

    preacher4truth
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    8,121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dr.,

    I don't know if you use e-sword Bible software or not. It's a free Bible program @ www.e-sword.net and free modules for it are available @ www.biblesupport.net.

    Here is an exegeses Bible module, also free. Perhaps it could be one little tool in your arsenal. Here is the Bible @ http://www.biblesupport.com/e-sword-downloads/file/2663-exegeses-ready-research-bible-errbbblxexe/

    You have to register at the site to get the free modules.

    - Peace
     
  9. Deacon

    Deacon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2002
    Messages:
    6,972
    Likes Received:
    129
    I noticed the same thing many many years ago when a pastor of mine preached through 1 Peter.

    I heard many motivational sermons about particular words and doctrines but in the end I had no idea what Peter's message to us was.

    Verse-by-verse exposition is fine as long as a paragraph-by-paragraph or thought-by-though exposition follows along with it.

    Follow the author's intent to the audience he was writing to.

    Only after the original intent of the scripture has been made clear can a preacher begin to relate the message and apply it to today's problems.

    Rob
     
  10. Dr Mixer GED

    Dr Mixer GED
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thank you. Yes, I do use e-sword. I have not yet used any of the modules. I will def. check it out.

    Thanks again
     

Share This Page

Loading...