Current Christianity puts great emphasis on the Sunday morning sermon. Sorry, but I can’t imagine why, especially since Jesus was far less concerned with orations to the masses.
Here’s what an analysis of Jesus’ words will reveal …
— At least 45% were critiques (usually harsh) to or about the religious establishment.
— Another 45% or more were private chats with his closest followers.
— More than half of the remaining 10% or less were direct conversations with individuals: the woman at the well, the rich young ruler, Nicodemus, Zacchaeus, Mary and Martha, etc.
— That leaves 5% or less of his words being spoken to large groups of people.
No doubt the most famous of Jesus’ teachings is what some call the Sermon On The Mount. There is controversy on whether this was really presented to a mass audience or to a small band of disciples. But even if it was a public address, the whole thing took about ten minutes. How ironic that Bible teachers today spend literally months of Sundays dissecting it. Is something wrong with this picture, or am I out in left field?
If Jesus did deliver anything like a modern-day homily, the God who inspired the Bible didn’t think it was important enough to preserve. Perhaps there are better ways to teach and learn the spiritual life. And that’s a topic for another day.
That puts a delightful spin on “Go forth and preach…” Relationships > Words, Small > Large, God > Man. So Simple, so sweet, so UN-Worldly.