When we read God’s word, or preach and teach it, it’s important that we come to own what we’re reading, and that our hearers come to own it for themselves. We ought to meet people where they are, yes, but also lead them to where they need to be. Where we need to be is with Jesus and on his mission. As for preaching, I prefer the expository method because it still seems to be the best vehicle for accomplishing these ends.
Here is an expository sermon outline for one of next week’s Lectionary readings, Isaiah 42:1-9:
We are called to bring justice to the nations through Jesus.
4 aspects of Jesus’ ministry of justice:
As the servant of God the Father (v. 1)
- Upheld (v. 1a)
- Chosen (v. 1b)
- The delight of his Father’s soul (v. 1c)
Working according to the Father’s heart (vv. 2-4)
- Softly (v. 2)
- Graciously (v. 3)
- Resolutely (v. 4)
Leading God’s people
- Called in righteousness (v. 6a)
- As a light to the nations (v. 6b)
- To heal and liberate (v. 7)
With the seal of divine authority
- His name (v. 8a)
- His exclusive glory (v. 8b)
- His ability to foretell the future (v. 9)
If you were preaching or teaching this passage, what approach would you take, and why?
For me, it is incredibly encouraging as a New Year begins to realize that Jesus is and will bring justice to the nations. How we all need this, whether in the U.S, Russia, Syria, Israel, Iraq, or anywhere else. How amazing it is that we carry a message that actually is good news to EVERY people upon the earth, because one day, it’s all going to come together, in a way that affirms the best in all of us. Where and when in your life have you already experienced glimpses of this future reality?
I’ll be visiting the U.N. and meeting some world leaders in February. This might be a very encouraging message to share with them.
Happy New Year!