Sermon Illustrations

I have obtained a copy of a recently discovered document from the 1st century. It’s from the first publisher of the Bible – this was before there was Zondervan and Tyndale and all those publishers. It’s a letter from them to the Bible’s original author…

Dear Sir,

While we appreciate that the writing of Your manuscript has involved the work of some 40 authors and taken over 1500 years to complete, as with all writers, we feel it is important to present to You some editorial suggestions for the sake of Your book’s marketability. Please understand that these are presented with Your interests in mind, as well as the necessity of this book paying for itself as we fulfill our contract with You.

At first, our review board thought it would be best to leave out some of the less-believable material – talking donkeys, floating ax heads, parting of the sea, bread from heaven, and things like that. However we are willing to leave those in. We’re just concerned that You not undermine Your work’s credibility.

However, there are still some certain elements that we deem best left out, even though they are factual. Clearly You haven’t included every thing that ever happened, so why not omit a few features that might otherwise harm Your book’s sales? – for instance, the inclusion in Joshua of the story of a prostitute named Rahab. It seems the account of the spies in her home is just as easily left out without altering the story of the conquest of Jericho. Why make such a character a key figure in your main story line? To bring her name up again in the New Testament as an illustration of good living seems to be using poor judgment too. (If you look in Hebrews 11:31, she’s one of only 2 women mentioned there – people who had faith – along with Noah, Abraham, Jacob, and others. Then James mentions her in 2:25 as a person who was “considered righteous” for what she did.)

Worst of all is her name appearing in the genealogy of Jesus along with 2 other women of questionable background. (Sure enough, right there...

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