Sermon Illustrations

In the Greek Islands, you can see the home of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.

Near his house there is an olive tree, supposedly dating from his time. The trunk of this tree is very large but completely hollow; it is little more than thick bark. There are a few long, straggling branches, but sturdy wooden poles positioned every few feet support them. It has an occasional leaf here and there and might even produce a few olives each year.

In the nearby fields, however, there are olive groves in many directions. These are strong, healthy, young trees with narrow trunks and a thick canopy of leaves, under which many olives can be found each year. The tree of Hippocrates can still be called an olive by nature, but it has long since ceased to fulfill the function of an olive tree.

Do you know any churches or Christians like the tree of Hippocrates?

The form is there, but the function is not.

They have stopped reproducing and are satisfied just being big, or having a noble history. How shameful it is for any church or a Christian to be content with the status quo! We have been given good news to tell, but good news is only good if it is shared.