If Jesus, the focal point of God’s interaction with humanity, is not likewise given His due place in a minister’s sermons, you have to question his motives. Any minister worth his salt will preach the story of the Bible. But what does that mean?
The idea of the story of the Bible… comes from the Bible, funnily enough. A systematic approach seeks to squeeze doctrine from every possible passage (other than those family chronologies which are paid lip service to but can never be explained, or something else that can stump the doctrines the minister wants the church to accept). But the bible is not designed with a humanist rationality in mind so it doesn’t.
When all these 2000 years of man’s thinking can be put to one side, it is clear that the Bible is about God saving man. It starts from day one to the present and continues to the end of ‘this life’ and glimpses at the one to come. We may refer to it as the ‘History of Salvation’ because that is precisely what it is.
At its core, the Bible has three simple stages:
- God’s creation of a perfect world (Genesis 1:1 – 2:25)
- Man’s destruction of the perfect world (Genesis 3:1 – 3:14)
- God’s restoration of the world back to perfection (Genesis 3:15 – Revelation 22:21)
Quite obviously, the vast majority of the story is in part C. And in part C, the climax, pinnacle, the most important point is Jesus because in Him and through Him, God restored the world to perfection.
Since Jesus is the most important part of the entire story of this History of Salvation, how is it that churches can go for months without even talking about him? For in this story, the minor stories of Abraham, Joseph, David, Isaiah and all the rest of them cannot be looked at in isolation anymore. They are mere bit parts in the major story of JESUS CHRIST the LORD.
Yes, Jesus is mentioned sometimes in songs, the focal point of so many church services today. And sometimes his name slops out in the dribble that so often comes from many ministers’ mouths. But does the church really believe in this story? If it does, it will give Jesus the name that is above all names, just as God has. And he will be the most important part of any sermon, even if you are talking about the sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz. (Genesis 36:11)
The Rev is doing a little bit of research and is collecting some statistics on what percentage of the time ministers actually give to relating the bit of the Bible they are talking about with what Jesus did. In many cases, around only X% of the rest of the Bible is referred back to Jesus when the minister is not talking from the gospels. And when the minister is talking from the gospels, that figure rises to only X%. This shows how much Jesus is valued. (Research to continue. After 5 weeks, the results are 0% from 4 weeks of non-gospel texts and 0% from 1 week of gospel text. Of course the minister doesn’t have to preach from the gospels. Jesus is in fact everywhere in the Bible, as long as you know where to look. But it will be interesting to note the difference if there is one at all.)