Sermon Illustrations

The shortest sermon I know is only ten words. It was preached by my grandfather to a small, country congregation on the story of the Good Samaritan (Mark 10:35-45). He read the account of an outsider who demonstrates true neighbor love by stopping on the road to care for a bleeding and badly injured man. This Samaritan’s compassion stands in stark contrast to religious types who passed by without offering aid. After reading the text, my grandfather mounted the pulpit and said, “We all know what this means. Just do it.” Then he sat down, sermon over.

I’ve heard the story of my grandfather’s sermon from several people over the years. Each described the impact it made on them in its brevity and directness. The simplicity of “just go do it” reminds us that sometimes all the words we use to describe and explain Jesus may get in the way of his core message. We really do know what he means. Love God by serving your neighbor. It is that clear. It is that simple. It is that hard.

- Amy Reumann, “A Lectionary Study on Mark 10:35-45 ”, Bread for the World Sunday 2018

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