Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

The Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
Series B


Option #1: "A Ministry of Healing"
Mark 1:29-39
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.

I. For the body--Mk 5:41ff; Acts 9:41-42; text, vv32-34

II. For the spirit

A. Power to heal the demon-possessed--Mk 1:25, 3:7-12; Lk 4:41; Acts 16:16-18

B. Power to heal the sin-oppressed--text, v38; Isa 61:1-3; Lk 4:18-21; John 9:4-5, 17:4 & 8; Lk 5:30-32, 24:44-47; Acts 5:31, 11:17-18, 26:20

John F. MacArthur, Jr. has some thoughts to consider about our Lord’s preaching and the preaching we do in His Name: The content of biblical preaching can be summed up in two Greek words: kerugma and didache˘˘. Kerugma derives from the verb kerusso˘˘, which means "to proclaim," or "to announce a proclamation." The noun kerugma refers to the content of a proclamation. At least five elements made up the New Testament ke˘˘rugma. First, it presented Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Second, it described Him as God in human flesh. Third, it focused on His life and work, especially His death and resurrection. Fourth, it spoke of His second coming. Finally, it declared that salvation was only through faith in Him, and that those who rejected Him as Lord and Savior would be eternally damned.

In addition to kerugma, or proclamation, true biblical preaching must also contain didache˘˘, or teaching. Didache˘˘, from which the English word "didactic" derives, refers to the doctrinal content within the preaching of the kerugma. The epistles are largely composed of this theology of salvation that provides the depth and breadth and height of preaching. True preaching is proclaiming the great truths and undergirding them with the richness of the supernatural and profound wisdom revealed throughout Scripture, particularly the New Testament. There is no such thing as genuine biblical preaching that is devoid of doctrinal content.

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Lamb’s Message

Mark 1:32-34: That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick... The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases.

Visual aid: cold medicine appropriate for children

I want you to think of the last time you got sick. Let’s say you had a bad cold and you couldn’t go to school. What did your mom give you? Medicine. Maybe you had a headache and she gave you children’s aspirin. Do you know where our medicines come from? They come from things that God put into his creation. Some really smart people had to study about this and then they made medicine of these things, but God put them there right from the very start.

In today’s Bible story (Mark 1:32-34), we are told that Jesus healed many people. He didn’t have to use medicine because he used the power of His Word. His same powerful word created the medicine we use today.

He can still heal today the way he did then, but most of the time he uses people and medicine to heal us. It takes a little longer that way, but it is still Jesus who is healing us.

Some day, at a time that God only knows, he will make you better forever when he takes you to heaven. The Bible tells us that we will never get sick again once we enter eternal life. It tells us that for the people in heaven there will be no sorrow or crying or tears or pain for the things of this life are gone. Gone forever!

In the very last chapter of the Bible, God tells us that he will heal us forever. We read in Revelation 22: Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

(Take bottle in hand) You won’t need this after you get to heaven when you will see Jesus. And that’s nothing to sneeze at!

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Option #2: "Freed For Slavery"
1 Corinthians 9:16-27
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
Point: Our ultimate purpose in life is to be brought (back) into relationship with God and to bring others (back) to Him.

Purpose: We are distracted from our ultimate purpose, retreating into our own little worlds and worldviews.

Promise: God became weak in Christ, suffering and dying for our distracted selves and, by the Holy Spirit, gets us back on track and tracking.


1. The principle of freedom: we are free to be human and to love our neighbor, to use the gifts of God in Gospel-governed and culturally appropriate ways. Such demands wisdom--i.e., what's right and appropriate in between the "cracks." All adiaphora are not created equal! (Robert Kolb)

2. A the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to every one. (Martin Luther)

3. ...gospel effectiveness is actually undermined when we go down the "accessible" road. When we think that doing church is about the color of the drum kit in the corner we are in trouble. Once we start "dumbing down," as though shape has some gospel importance, we end up doing the very thing Paul is warning us against in this passage. A whole range of people are offended and their simple faith undermined.... what Paul is actually encouraging us to do is to set aside our claim to freedom when the spiritual sensitivities of our brothers and sisters are in danger of offence. Their ultimate salvation is far more important than our freedom. (Bryan Findlayson)


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This page was revised on: Monday, November 13, 2006 11:54:51 AM