Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Epiphany 6
Series C

From Rev. Kelly Bedard

"Survival of the Fitless"
Luke 6:17-26

1. Poor people receive the riches of God's Kingdom
2. Hungry people eat at the Messianic banquet
3. Sorrowing people rejoice on the Final Day
4. Rejected people reflect God's truth


1. ptochos (verse 20), poor: destitute of wealth, influence, position, honor, of Christian virtues and eternal riches

2. peinao (verse 21), hunger: through the idea of pinching toil, "pine"; metaphorically, "to crave ardently, to seek with eager desire"

3. "Most of us spend considerable time and energy trying to make our lives as safe and secure as possible. We want to be able to sit back and count our blessings--such as our jobs, our homes, our net worth. Jesus turns our notion of a blessed existence upside down, finding strength in vulnerability and warning us about the dangers of contented complacency. A  blessed existence involves being sent to hell." (Homiletics Online, February 1992)

4. "The Sermon on the Mount expresses quite plainly that God views this world with different lenses. One could almost subtitle the sermon, 'Survival of the Least Fit.' Strength, good looks, connections and the competitive instinct may bring a person success in a society like ours; but those very qualities may block entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Dependence, sorrow, repentance--these are the steps to God's kingdom." (Philip Yancey, Christianity Today, June 1990)

Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.

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