Summary: For those who preach, the ministry of John the Baptist, which the Gospels describe so minimally, raises important questions. Was John a lone voice, or did he have others he trusted who could help him work through his own issues and questions? How did John’s journey on the road of repentance figure in the sermons he preached? Preachers understand that preaching is never a one-way enterprise, from a confident speaker to a needy audience. We are often the audiences of our own sermons, and sometimes our best preaching is the preaching that we ourselves need to hear. Don’t view John as a totally self-assured individual; perhaps he was as vulnerable as we are. Repentance, after all, is not about feeling sorry or resolving to do better. It is a lifelong experience of trying to view the world and God’s place in it through from a different perspective. No one can do that entirely alone.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Matthew 3:1-12. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
Commentary on Acts 3:12-19
Summary: The public speeches that we read about in the early chapters of Acts insist that salvation has arrived and it has ben accomplished through Jesus Christ. Jesus, then, is the centerpiece of these sermons about God’s faithfulness. In Acts 3, Peter preaches to a crowd in Jerusalem, accentuating themes of forgiveness, refreshment from God, and Jesus’ eventual return to bring things to completion. The sermon urges its hearers toward repentance, a new understanding of what is happening. Peter encourages the audience to discover the power of Jesus at work in his and John’s ministry. Although crucified, resurrected, and ascended into the heavens, Jesus continues to be the source of God’s salvation. It’s a fitting beginning to Acts, showing us what it looks like–at least at this point in the story–when the Christ-followers bear witness to Jesus in action and speech.
I wrote this biblical commentary for those preparing to preach or teach on the passage. Read the commentary at Working Preacher.
Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary
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