I was thinking about the first sermon I ever heard the other day. It was a sermon on the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37.
It was on a Saturday night at the local church in 1988. I had the desire to go and I just walked in and sat at the back. The Minister read the passage, then talked for about five minutes on it.
He explained the story that it was a religious person asking Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answered, “Love God and love your neighbour”. The story of the Good Samaritan came in when the man asked who is his neighbour.
From the explanation it was very clear that it was the man in need who had been beaten on the road was the neighbour. It was also very clear it wasn’t the Priest or the Levite that was the hero. It was the despised Samaritan.
The short message ended with the challenge from Luke 10:37… “Well go and do likewise”.
It was only a short message but it had a profound effect on me. It was amazing how 5-7 minutes in total could whack me between the eyes. Love God, love your neighbour and live like the Good Samaritan.
I guess this sermon also shaped my preaching too. It taught me that not all sermons need to be 30-60 minutes to be effective. They just need to have a powerful message and give the listeners something to think about and aspire to.