Sermon Illustrations

Philip Yancey relates how a professor Virginia Stem Owens assigned the Sermon on the Mount to her composition class at Texas A&M University. She asked her students to write a short essay on this passage of Scripture. Here is what one student wrote: “The things asked in this sermon are absurd. To look at a woman is adultery. That is the most extreme, stupid, unhuman statement that I have ever heard.” (The Jesus I Never Knew, p. 130).

Professor Owens reflected: “There is something exquisitely innocent about not realizing you shouldn’t call Jesus stupid…I find it strangely heartening that the Bible remains offensive to honest, ignorant ears, just as it was in the first century.” (Ibid.)

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