Let PROtheo help you gather resources to study for your sermon preparation.
Today, we continue our series on the blog highlighting how I do sermon reserach in my church, in my case, using the sermon research service PROtheo to maximize sermon preparation time. See a couple of our other posts about sermon research here and here.
At Grace Church we have been preaching through Matthew, verse by verse, for some time now. Recently we decided to take three Sundays to unpack one of the central passages of Matthew: Matthew 16:13-20.
We decided to preach the entire sermon on the often debated verse, Matthew 16:18. While this verse is undeniably central to understanding the relationship of both Jesus and Peter to the church, it also contains some difficult sayings that have led scholars to include it among “the most controversial in all of Scripture.”
As a standard ingredient of my research briefs, my researcher includes a section of key Scriptural cross references and parallels that could shed light on interpreting or expositing the passage at hand. Some of these connections could be found through a simple check of the cross-references in the margins of a study Bible, some are highlighted by the commentators on the passage, and some may come simply from the perspective of another student of Scripture spending time in the text at hand and the Scriptures at large.
In my recent study of Matthew 18:18, I found that some of the key related passages highlighted in the research brief proved especially helpful in understanding and explaining the passage. They also became foundational passages for communicating the meaning of Matthew 18:18 to my congregation.
Below are some excerpts from the brief. You can find the whole research brief here.