What do you want?

question

THE shelf life of the average church sermon is probably about 20 minutes after it’s delivered. The transforming words of Jesus are recalled 2000 years after he spoke them.

Jesus only directly answered three of the 183 questions he was asked, according to the gospel accounts.

Sometimes he put the question back on the inquirer. Sometimes he just remained silent.
His own unnerving questions seemed designed to make people think; to challenge their image of God or the world.
As author Richard Rohr pointed out, Jesus’ style was “almost exactly the opposite of modern televangelism’’.
“Jesus is too much the Jewish prophet to merely stabilise the status quo by platitudes or euphemisms.
“He much more destabilises the false assumptions on which the entire question or one’s world view is built.’’
Jesus was the one with all the right questions. He asked people what they wanted and what they believed.
He told wonderful parables, created tension through antitheses and then asked the listeners whether they believed in the message.
“Who do you say I am?’’ he asked several times. “Who do you seek?’’

His critics were undone by his logic rich in subtleties. He was the master of the unexpected twist.
At the start of the gospel of John, right after he was baptised, Jesus was followed by two men, later to become disciples.
When he noticed these two followers, Jesus turned around, looked them in the eye and asked, “What are you looking for?’’
He knew the answer but asked anyway.
Those first disciples were caught off guard. So they asked Jesus a question. “Where are you staying?’’ And Jesus welcomed them into his life with a challenge. “Come and see,’’ he said. How could they resist?

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14 thoughts on “What do you want?

      • Sermons on youtube and tv church services miss an opportunity for a great deal of what the Commandments required and of what Jesus taught – relationship with others, fellowship.

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      • Sermons on the internet and Televangelists are an outreach or extension of blessings, and are not meant to replace church attendance/fellowship. But for some, like myself, that’s all we have, and I thank God for His provision in this arid land I find myself in. God bless abundantly the anointed men and women of God (God knows who the are) who have ministered to my parched spirit and wounded heart for all these years through this medium. I would have long ago shrivelled up and died alone, otherwise.

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      • They (sermons) play their part Bob.

        Feed the Christian ‘spiritually’ and you should have a better Christian more able to contribute to society.

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      • Monica, Thanks for your comment. I do appreciate that an insightful word can always change things. Sometimes I find that one person talking leaves no pathway for resolution of questions, doubts, understanding of the meaning behind the words, etc. To me, personally-delivered sermons, seem to be an ineffective way to equip people for service. I can also appreciate your comments about those that present to an audience over television. Be strong in the way you learn.

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    • I was fortunate enough to attend a church where the sermons were of such interest that those who couldn’t attend on any particular Sunday, requested an audio tape of it!

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    • “With God there are no accidents. He sees you. There is purpose for where you are right now. Keep on! Be the light to those around you.”

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      • Hi Strewth, thanks for leading me to this resource. It was good. I found it instructive. The Bishop actually confirmed some of what I’m saying. Christians have theological baggage, particularly their language, e.g. sermon, which gets in the way of people throughout Australia, who are often desperately seeking answers to intractable issues in their lives. But it left me with more questions than answers. In respect those issues which many Australians face, what do Anglicans mean by the phrase “salvation is through Christ alone?” What does it actually mean to those not versed in the language and ways of the Church that “we need to (have faith in and) trust Jesus?” Why is that important? How does one build that trust? What are the daily issues that will arise because of that trust, particularly as one learns over time to trust? I was also interested that the occasion around which the Bishop’s talk was placed, was something like a parliamentary meeting; thesis, antithesis and synthesis. There must have been some really good discussion at the Synod, if this is the way you guys work. The good part seemed to be that that Jewish group were looking for real resolution. Truly Strewth, I appreciate our exchange.

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      • Bob, the language he was using was very ‘in-house’, and not my cup of tea. That was not meant to be an example of the sermons that I mentioned as impressing me. They were given by a minister who explained that each church (each denomination in our smallish town) took on the job of speaking to a particular type of person, according to the minister’s own talents. This man was an ex teacher – his field was education, and how to keep it interesting. So he was aiming at people with an average age of 30 who had some academic or intellectual bent. Others, sorry, but another church would meet their needs. Nor was pastoral work his forte, so he formed a pastoral team for that.

        The address from the Anglican synod was not actually what I was looking for, although from St. Andrew’s Sydney church from where you could obtain weekly every-day sermons, supposedly of interest. I just couldn’t find any now.

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