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Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


Two Sermon Starters To Consider:

Option A: "A New And Amazing Teaching!"
Epiphany IV--Series B
Text: Mark 1:21-28
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.

A. The "Old" Traditional (Rabbinic) Teaching

1. Relies on past interpretations

2. Often results in legalistic regulations (The Rabbis had more than 600 additional "commandments" supplementing God's "Ten Commandments")

3. Espouses wisdom--e.g., recognizes Jesus as "the Holy One of God"--which does no spiritual good (e.g., Satan recognizing, but having no power over, Jesus), results in fear and trembling ("...the evil spirit shook...and came out of [the man] with a shriek")

B. The "New" Amazing (Jesus') Teaching

1. Quotes no experts but, instead, proclaims His own (the final) authority (casting out the evil spirit)--the ultimate ordained Rabbi!

2. More than just a wise or model teacher, He exhibits in His own person the undeserved love of God for sinners

3. Challenged by Satan, but with simple and stern commands ("Be quiet!" "Come out of Him!")--not incantations or complex formulas--wins the day ("The people were...amazed ... News about Him spread quickly...")

4. Based on the freeing power of the Gospel's promises of unconditional grace not the imprisoning chains of legalism, perfectionism and guilt.

5. Christ's amazing teaching supersedes traditional Rabbinic teaching with Christ's "New" Amazing teaching. Because of this we can exclaim with St. Paul, "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me!" (Phil. 4:13 NIV). Amazing!!!

Option B: "A Teaching With Authority!"
Epiphany IV--Series B
Text: Mark 1:21-28
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.S., M.Div.

Texts: Deut. 18:15-20 & Mark 1:21-28
Note: The Scripture readings for Epiphany 4 remind us of the power of God's Word and the blessings we receive from the Word made flesh.  In the Old Testament Lesson, Moses advises the people to listen to the prophet whom God will raise up "from among their brothers." Paul, in the Epistle, reminds us that "There is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through all things came and through whom we live" (1 Cor. 8:6) In the Gospel for this day, we see Jesus the prophet at work with His powerful word.  It is...a Teaching With Authority!


I. It comes from the Father

 A. In Moses' time, the people asked for God to send them a Mediator, due to their fear of God.

 B. This request pleased the Father and He made a promise to "put my words in His mouth."


II.  This teaching comes with compassion from one of our Brothers

 A. He is God, yet he shares our humanity (Heb. 2:14-18)

 B. He comes to us to walk and talk with us

      1. As he did with the woman at the well (John 4:6ff)
               a. to convict of sin
               b to present Himself as our Savior

       2. As He did with Mary Magdalene
            a. Drying her tears
            b. showing Himself   to be victorious over death.

III. This teaching with authority dispels evil and protects from it.

 A. He casts out demons (Mark 1:21-28).

 B. His powerful Word is a weapon and a shield against temptation (Matt. 4:1ff; Eph. 6:10ff).

 C. Demonic forces must bow to His authority (Mark 1:23- 26).

 D. This authority frees God's people from the fear of death (Heb. 2:14-16).

IV.  This teaching ministry of Jesus has power

 A. The power of motivation

 B. The power of attraction

Final Note: E.H. Wendland writes: The "special services" are over for a while in the Church Year.  Don't let routine rob you of the ongoing blessings Jesus offers you in His word. That word brings life here and now and life that never ends. As we proclaim it to our congregations this week, may God's message also find a place in our hearts and continue to bless us. May it not only cheer our hearts with the assurance of heaven's open door, but also be our motivation to spread the Good News of Jesus far and near. No matter where you minister, God will give you opportunities to share that Good News.
 (Sermon Studies on the Gospels--ILCW Series B, Ernst H. Wendland, General Editor.  Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1987)

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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:32 PM