Sermon Starters

Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals

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

Third Sunday After Pentecost/
Festival Of St. John The Baptist

Series C

From Rev. Kelly Bedard...

"John the Baptist, PA*"
(Acts 13:24-25)

*Physician's Assistant (this can be included in the title or not; see #5 below)

A. Relationship Precluding Repentance

    1. Relying on ancestral lineage and connections for salvation

    2. A greedy, me-first generation decried by John the Baptist

B. Relationship Producing Repentance

    1. Only true children of Abraham and God-fearing people are saved

    2. Jesus living and dying for a greedy, me-first generation


1. John: "Jehovah is a gracious giver"

2. baptisma (verse 24): immersion, submersion; of calamities and afflictions with which one is quite overwhelmed

3. metanoia (verse 24): a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose s/he has formed or of something s/he has done

4. One way that hunters have used to capture monkeys in India is to use a half of a coconut. A hole is cut through the coconut, just big enough for the monkey to squeeze his open hand through. The coconut is secured and food put under it. The unsuspecting monkey puts his hand through the hole to grab the food but then finds out that he can't retrieve his hand. His hand, holding the food, is a fist and will not fit through the hole. And he won't let go of the food. Sometimes we act like these monkeys. We cling to things in our lives, refusing to give them up, and are trapped. (Adapted from Linda Wofford Hawkins)

5. First aid makes an injured person ready for medical treatment by temporary but important procedures. For example, a broken limb is splintred until it can be properly set by a physician. John's message was to turn his hearers' attention toward the true spiritual healing that God was bringing to the world through Jesus. He was to make both Jew and Gentile ready for the healing Jesus would bring. (James L. Brauer)

6. John's baptism was part of a messianic awakening that called for ethical and eschatological cleansing connected with repentance. Such repentance goes beyond remorse for sin; it is a breaking away of sin. (Ibid)

From Rev. Wayne Dobratz

Introduction: Everyone needs a few compassionate friends who will bear our burdens and weep when we weep. Jesus' compassion knows no bounds. The word literally means that he has a "gut reaction" when he views the trouble we're in because of sin. (Vincent: (dσπλαγχνίσθη) From σπλάγχνα, the nobler entrails, regarded as the seat of the affections--See John 11:33.

What we look for in a Doctor, a therapist, a friend, in the church, we find in Jesus.  Luke reveals to us:

1) He knows our sorrows 11-12 Cf. Heb. 2:14
2) He feels our sorrows 13 ("helpless" as in Matt. 9:36)
3) He removes our sorrows 14-15

Albert Barnes has written: The whole scene was affecting. Here was a widowed mother who was following her only son, her stay and hope, to the grave. He was carried along-one in the prime of life and the only comfort of his parent-impressive proof that the young, the useful, the vigorous, and the lovely may die. Jesus met them, apparently a stranger. He approached the procession as if he had something important to say; he touched the bier and the procession stood still. He was full of compassion for the weeping parent, and by a word restored the youth, stretched upon the bier, to life. 

He sat up, and spoke. Jesus therefore had power over the dead. He also has power to raise sinners, dead in trespasses and sins, to life. He can speak the word, and, though in their death of sin they are borne along toward ruin, he can open their eyes, and raise them up, and restore them revived to real life or to their friends.

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