While preaching from an Old Testament book, make ready to deal with John’s Gospel. Here good commentaries abound. I prefer Westcott, either the one based on Greek, or the one on English. After a devotional study, dodging no difficulties, prayerfully select from the gathered riches the paragraphs most certain to meet local needs today.
In December have the layman read Isaiah 28–35. Then preach on “The Repose of a Settled Faith” (28:16), and “The Christ of the Old Testament” (35:1). On the third Sunday, introduce “The Greatest Book in the Bible” (John 20:31). Then “The Christ Before the First Christmas” (1:1). In this wondrous verse let the stress fall on the nouns. Next, “The Heart of the Christmas Gospel” (1:14). At the National Museum in Cairo the curator once took up an inconspicuous vase with no historic value. Reaching inside he turned on a light that caused the alabaster vessel to shine with glory from God. So do here with the Incarnation.
“The Glory of Christ’s Personality” (2:11). At a wedding feast: The Glory of Christ’s Human Nature—Social Sympathies—Transforming Power. Glory here means the outshining of God’s goodness and grace. At the start waste no time in telling what the layman has prayerfully read at home, and has heard the pastor read. Preach about the Lord in present tenses. Not a post-mortem! “The Golden Text of the Bible” (3:16). Most ministers shy away from preaching about such a supreme text. Is this fair to the Book, or the hearer? Always choose the noblest text at hand, and treat it royally.
“The Eloquence of Christian Experience” (4:42). “Eternal Life Here and Now” (6:47). Our Lord says that life everlasting begins when a man is born again. “The Way to Know the Will of God” (7:17, first ten words). As ...1
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