Why No Mention of the Reformation?

October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Thesis to the door of Wittenberg Chapel.

A great many blogs and websites have all decided to teach on Romans for the month of October. I don’t know if they went through with it or not.

But this is the only mention I have of it.


I’m not a Protestant. I’m a Jewish believer in Christ. My theological heritage as a believer is as a Baptist, which never was part of Rome.
As a matter of fact, it’s been pointed out many times that those “heretics” that the Roman Catholic Church was persecuting was Baptists!

While a great deal is made of the fact that the word Baptist was not used until the 1700’s, Baptists were known as Anabaptists prior. Once you know that, it’s easy to trace it back to the Waldenses and Albigeneses. Then you can trace it back to Donatists, Catharists… Once you’ve gone that far, it’s actually easy to trace it back to…

Jerusalem, and eleven men staring up at the sky as Jesus Christ ascended physically to heaven.

So, the Protestant Reformation is interesting.

But it’s got very little to do with me.


7 Must Have Books by David Cloud

When assembling your Christian Library, there are certain books and authors one MUST own – and David Cloud’s name pops up a LOT on that list. I’ve assembled a quick and ready list you can use for birthdays, shopping lists and Christmas (There’s NOTHING wrong with celebrating Christmas!!!). I own all of these in eBook format, but for traditionalists he also sells these in Hardcover as well.

When starting a church plant, the church planter should consider buying these in bulk.

  1. Way Of Life Encyclopedia. I bought this to look things up with, and I…ended up READING it. Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias are often neglected items in your library, and trust me – if I only had ONE Bible dictionary or Encyclopedia to own, this is IT. It doesn’t just list words and definitions, but this also includes errors in peoples teachings, etc.
  2. Things Hard to Be Understood. I’m waiting impatiently for Vol. 2 – includes several often misinterpreted Bible passages.When you want to check yourself on difficult to understand Bible passages, this is the book to have. If this book had been around 20 years ago, NOBODY would have become involved in the Messianic Judaism/Hebrew Roots cult.
  3. The Effectual Bible Student. I think the eBook of this is FREE.Has much more info than the video series. Since it’s about Bible study, most people don’t own it, but you NEED this.
  4. The One Year Discipleship Course. Every Christian on earth needs this book. Just like the Three above it. After finishing it, I was embarrassed to find out it was intended for teenagers!
  5. Give Attendance To Doctrine. Want to know what the Bible teaches on any subject? Here’s a systematized book telling you what the Bible teaches, cross-referenced with every passage on it! You’ll end up reviewing this book constantly!
  6. The Four Gospels. An Advanced Bible Study book! Detailed, complete entries on many passages on the Gospels. Truly Indispensable for Bible study.
  7. The Bible Version Question and Answer Database. Whenever I get the urge to read any other translation besides the King James, I go right to this book. I’m not King James Only because of David Cloud – it was the result of my own study. But this book gives lots of information on the subject, and will easily convince others (and give you the tools to convince them!) to be King James Only!

There are many more books and materials I could recommend, but these in my opinions are must have items!

Being a Pastor 20 – Finishing the sermon

Technically, a sermon is not finished until Monday morning. It’s not until the congregation puts it into practice. I think it is important to emphasize that Christianity is not a spectator sport – that the congregation actually must put into practice what the pastor preaches. And of course, the Pastor has to do it first.

So, what do I have to do to outline? In reality, you can check that off, because that’s the first thing I did, even before I put everything in the sermon body. The usual method is this:

  1. point one
  2. point two
  3. point three

really easy to outline that.

yet, recently, I saw a website where someone had done the “How to use Logos to write sermons”, back in version 4 or 5. He advocated an addition.

  1. point one
  2. state
  3. educate
  4. illustrate
  5. point two
  6. state
  7. educate
  8. illustrate
  9. point three
  10. state
  11. educate
  12. illustrate

In the sermon outliner, I indent these. But in HTML format, that’s hard to do, In other words, the state educate illustrate part is indented as sub points.

So, that transforms this from a semi-inductive to (i think?) a deductive? I can’t remember the name of the sermon type that tells you what the points are, gives you the points, and then reminds you what the three points are.

I don’t like those. I don’t like them because… I just prefer semi-inductive. “Who?” “what?” “Why?” I think is for my way of thinking the natural, ordered way to approach a Bible passage. And I’m pretty sure that you attract to your church people who follow your way of thought. Otherwise, a deductive person would hear my sermon, and be unsatisfied with semi-inductive. And go elsewhere.

We even at the beginning of this series wrote out our sesrmon point questions, and I’m not really seeing a reason to vary them. The focus has changed slightly from being a housecleaning to being that of a “Why do we do this?” kind of sermon. But the questions still work well.

What I write now is the exposition. If I tell you point A is New York, Point B is Chicago and Point C is Big Fork, you could draw a route map. So, at this point, I’m drawing a route map, but in words and ideas. My big tools are the interrogatives… you remember those from 7th grade English, right? Who what when where why how. And… we already did THOSE, right

This long and complicated (not really) template we’ve followed has given you all the tools in front of you to build this sermon.

Why do we allow traditions to violate the word of God?

The Lord desires Relationship, not ritual

Relationship, not ritual.

Why do we abandon the Bible in favor of Tradition?

We do things at our house, at our job, in our prayer life, in our Bible reading… and we do them because it’s our habit! It’s our tradition! And if it violates or makes the word of God of none effect, then it is no less hypocrisy in our dining room than it was that day in Galilee.

Relationship, not ritual.

Why do we not see this as hypocrisy?

The Lord despises Hypocrisy

Speak the Truth in Truth

final point

Today, we can rest assured that Jesus Christ wants relationship, not ritual with His redeemed.

Who: Jesus, the Pharisees

What: Arguing about ritual cleanliness

Where: Galilee

When: This comes just before the Lord ministers to a Gentile for the first time, the Syro-phonician woman.

Why: What is commanded?

How: Jesus Christ ultimately points to the heart, and not to the letter. The Pharisees ultimately point to the letter, and the heart is up to you.

Okay, I can tell you by experience, that wwwwwH usually ends up in that order throughout the sermon, but not always. your WHO entry will need to be in point one.

What and Where will probably be in point one. Now when will probably end up in point two, and why will be in pont three. How is ultimately tied to the point of the sermon, and so both must be in point three. “Show them, tell them, make them” should be the command of the ministry.

Now that I’ve essentially completed the checklist at the top, let’s delete that.

Now, do your outlining. The parts we’ve just talked about that, drag them or cut-paste them into the points we’ve discussed. I actually did a little re-arranging as I did this, as I felt my points were good, but one sub-point is out of place now. So, I fixed that. Tomorrow, you’ll have the sermon, so you can see that.

Now READ. One thing I sometimes do is change color of words in parallel passages to highlight the differences. I won’t do that here, because I’m now getting ready to write this sermon. I’ve got my mindset – WRITE THE SERMON. All the work is done. Drag, drop,, cut. So, read, note your essential points in the texts you’ve collected, CAREFULLY look at the clippings from commentaries and decide if it truly educates or not, decide if any scriptural points are… indeed scriptural (JFB is my commentary of choice right now, and they tended towards modernism, and add to the Bible on an infrequent basis – something you have to watch for).

I moved my statistic into it’s spot, and it occurred to me to choose that as a fill-in on the handout. By highlighting infant baptism and protestants and selecting “fill-in”, Logos places it on the handout section of the sermon file, with blank lines in place of those words.

In one sense, all the men in the congregation love fill ins, but you now run the risk of them ignoring every part of the sermon that does not get to the fill-in!

While writing it, I suddenly thought of an old chassidic joke I knew. Chassidic stories tend to fall into one or two types – teaching stories, and Chelm stories. Chelm stories usually involve the wise men of chelm who basically can’t figure out how to tie their shoes. Nudniks, every last one of them. So I tossed in the story of the Maggid (a travelling Chassid teacher) and his coach driver. The coach driver is from Chelm, but I don’t get into that. It’s a good way to explain WHY the Rabbi’s are asking Jesus Christ these questions in the beginning, and later on, why they ask him question traps, to try to prove to everyone that He’s not the Messiah, or get Him to say something the Romans can arrest Him for.

As I wrote this, I realize that I summed up the second quote by Barclay, so I can delete that now. It takes a minute off my sermon time. This is something you’ll realize, if experience hasn’t taught you this already. you’ll basically assemble the Encyclopedia Britannica in al 47 volumes, and cut away at it until you have a Reader’s Digest article.

Most of what the commentators say, you can explain in a quarter of the words. I try to attribute what I learn from where. It’s honest, and the congregation knows you did your homework, and they appreciate it. They don’t care, but… if you DON’T attribute it, and someone gets the JFB and reads what you just quoted on Sunday, they’ll think you stole the entire sermon from somewhere, even if all you did was provide a quote without attribution. Remenber, quoting without attribution is considered plagiarism. And it was the biggest controversy two years ago among pastors, plagiarism in sermons. Remember, a great many of the commentaries that Wordsearch, Logos, and Accordance charge money for are public domain, and you can get them for E-Sword for free. So sooner or later, someone’s going to read that quote from JFB or the Expositor’s commentary.

By the way, I didn’t do as thorough a job in this one as I normally do. Few of you have Quickverse any more, and usually I stop and read all my commentaries in Quickverse as well. And then, i STILL don’t use any of it. I’d say personally, get the Evanggelical commentary by Elwell, and whatever he says, if your stuff agrees, you KNOW it’s wrong!!!

Seriously, Elwell’s commentary is so bad, if I’d bought it hardcover, I’d have returned it in some anger. And you better believe I’d be leaving a review on Amazon or CBD.

But hey, I studied. And that gives me confidence when I step into the pulpit next, to preach with authority that what I’ve learned is correct, that I’m preaching the correct interpretation. And literally, ten percent of preaching a quality sermon, one that changes lives is… preaching with CONFIDENCE. Quiet confidence. Not bragging kind of confidence, like Jason Cooley, but “this is the truth” confidence like Marc Monte and Dan Botterbrodt.

Or you could drink 22 cups of coffee and just go all Danny Castle on the congregation.

This article’s taking 90 minutes to write, because I’m writing my sermon as I do it.

All right… once you have enough in to knw the structure of your sermon, forget your template for a minute. cut and paste or drag (depending on your software) the Bible texts you’ve collected. THESE are your go-to commentaries. Not JFB, not BKC, not Matthew HEnry or Poole, but the KING JAMES BIBLE. You CANNOT go wrong by using more Bible than commentary.

You’ve got several passages saved in your sermon document… Deut. 6:5-9, Psa 78:36-39, Isa. 29:13-14, Mal. 2:2, Col. 2:8, Isa. 8:20, Rom. 3:31, Matt. 7:21-23, and you still have to compare Matt. 15:1-9 with Mark 7:1-13.

And trust me, next Sunday’s sermon is going to build off of what you teach today, because next week you’re dealing with what comes out of a man is what defiles him. You have essentially the same thing, but too much to teach in one sermon. Many people say a sermon should be 25 minutes, and guess what? I’ve barely started writing the sermon, and i’m at 28 minutes. I’ll chop about 2 minites out of that by omitting Mark 7, but you have to compare, and explain what the differences are. You’ll go over that again in about a year, and only a few people in the congregation will remember the point you raised by introducing the differences.

Being a Pastor 19- The Sermon 12

I know what everyone’s thinking – I have a sermon due on Sunday, and your system seems to take weeks!

Well actually, once you’re used to it, what I’m taking weeks to do in analyzing actually I do in about 45 minutes. I’ve actually sat down and written two or three sermons in one day using this method.

If you continue to use the methods you’ve always used, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten. I started out this series with the confession that most IFB preachers I’ve heard couldn’t preach their way out of a maze that only had straight lines and no corners.

The whole idea here is to preach as grand as the passage you are preaching. Really. If the thought of a sermon on the one verse “Jesus Wept” doesn’t bring to mind a powerful sermon, you need to gather all the articles in this series and print them out!!!

By now you should have learned enough about analyzing this passage to know you could have preached this three ways. good! You’re learning. You should make some notes on outlines for the next tie you get to this passage. Remember, if you’re preaching Expositorially, you’re going to hit this again in Mark! Preach it another way then. And most of your work will be done already.

If Ihad a seminary, I think that Homiletics would be in the first semester, and every student would be required to preach their way through Matthew by graduation. If not actual preaching, they’d be required to write out the sermon.

Why write your sermons word for word?

When writing, the preacher is confronted with the manner in which to express the ideas, because of the effect of “listening” to the words as they go down onto the page. By revision and by continuous practice, clarity, interest, and force are developed.

H. C. Brown Jr, H. Gordon Clinard, Jesse J. Northcutt, and Al Fasol, Steps to the Sermon: An Eight-Step Plan for Preaching with Confidence, Revised. (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 184.

Many of the great preachers literally wrote out their sermons word for word. That’s the way I’ve always done it, and I’m always reading you NEVER should. I’m glad to read someone saying, it’s a valuable tool to focus your thoughts.

Application is the biggest part. As my Seminary teacher said, “Every sermon boils down to one simple question… so what?”

Answering the ‘so what’ gives us our answer. How do I apply this?

You have to have a relationship with Jesus Christ.


because without it, we may well ask ourselves… are we saved? Without a relationship with Jesus Christ, we may well be justified in asking ourselves, “Is there any proof I am saved?” If you cannot answer that question, there’s your answer. Remember, Many will say… “Lord, Lord!” And He will answer… “Away with you. I never knew ye.”

So, make sure you look that passage up and add that to your text collection section. Thought you were done with that, right? Yeah, that always happens when writing sermons. You always end up collecting more material than you can use… and still find something you needed to include!

Here’s where we stand so far…

__1. Purpose

_X_2. Who,What,Where, When,Why,How

_X_3. Brainstorming

_X_4. Research

_X_5. Text gathering

__6. Categorizing

__7. Outlining

_X_8. Definitions-Restatements

_X_9. Comparisons-Contrasts-Synonyms

_X_10. Facts-Statistics

___11. Explanations

_X_12. Examples

_X_13. Illustrations

_X_14. Quotes

_X_15. Application

_X_16. 14 word summary

You don’t always have to have an explanation section. I’m answering that elsewhere, so it’s not a problem.

What about categorizing and outlining? Categorizing is the part where you cut and paste or drag the research and text collection parts into the body of your sermon. At this point, we’re VERY close to finishing the sermon. Literally, I usually can finish all this in about 45 minutes. One of the reason a Christian should read through the Bibles as many times as possible before going to Seminary is this reason: I spent a year reading through the Bible three times in one year. I wrote articles about it. It’s so soaked some parts of the Bible in my head, that now I can look at a passage, know right away the main point of the passage, and with a little research (as I’ve shown you) can assemble the main theme of the sermon. I’ve resisted the advice of the experts, because as you saw in articles 3-5, I don’t agree that every passage has One Big Message. I showed with this one, I literally had three Big Messages, and simply had to pick one. That’s okay, this comes up again in Mark 7, and I’ll use another of the two leftover themes in that passage.

At this point, you just need to write the point of the sermon, and now you’re done except for… writing the sermon. Which actually is going to be fairly easy, because by the time you cut and paste, all you have to do is link and fill, and write some exposition. If you’ve been writing a Christian blog, trust me… you’ve been training yourself to write exposition anyway!

So, what’s the point of the sermon?

Sooner or later, every Christian reaches a point for one reason or another where they go through the motions , pretending to a holiness they really don’t feel. Sooner or later, every believer settles into comfort zones, and then traditions set in. We assume our traditions are the Scriptural way of doing things. What is not important to God is not our traditions, it is not our demeanor, but rather – our relationship to God, to Jesus Christ.

There you go. Tomorrow, we start filling in, categorizing and outlining.

Being a Pastor 18 – The Sermon 11

spent the last hour going through my sermon notes from this series. I’m now going through the checklist at the top – that will be the first thing deleted once done. According to the Logos sermon file, it won’t remove more than a minute. Literally, with all the text gathering and research, I’m now up to a 21 minute sermon, and in reality, I’ve only got the skeleton, and a few words in it.

Now, I open Bible Analyzer and get my definitions of transgress and hypocrite. Why not use the Mirrian-Webster’s from Logos? Because the Mirriam-Webster’s removes the Bible from Websters. No thanks, I want the 1828.

TRANSGRESS’, v.t. [L. transgressus, transgredior; trans and gradior, to pass.]

1. To pass over or beyond any limit; to surpass.

2. In a moral sense, to overpass any rule prescribed as the limit of duty; to break or violate a law, civil or moral. To transgress a divine law, is sin. Legislators should not transgress laws of their own making.

TRANSGRESS’, v.i. To offend by violating a law; to sin.


1. One who feigns to be what he is not; one who has the form of godliness without the power, or who assumes an appearance of piety and virtue, when he is destitute of true religion.

And the hypocrite’s hope shall perish. Job 8.

2. A dissembler; one who assumes a false appearance.

Fair hypocrite, you seek to cheat in vain.

Now, I need quotations and sermon illustrations. I despise sermon illustrations. I think I’ve mentioned it about a thousand times. Apparenlty, most people do not. So, I’m stuck using something I don’t believe in.

I have FAR MORE sermon illustrations in Quickverse than in anything else. so Quickverse it is. Um… that ones’ horrible. That one’s worse… why are we talking about the Crusaders as if they’re someone to serve as a role model? Pass on that one. Brother so and so said… nope. Cardinal So and so said… nope. There’s a stained glass window of the Virgin Mary… nope. Hm.

I hate sermon illustrations. I know all the books say I should collect my own. But you know what? If I hate sermon illustrations, I could go through an entire life of pithy sayings, sad kittens and little kids with lost baloons, and I’d never notice the sermon illustrations at my feet, because I despise them. I think other pastors should follow me around, because I’m sure that sad-eyed puppies line the sidewalks as I walk into work, and I’m missing the illustrations everyone needs. Nope, I’ll just use some of the trite ones, and I’ll be honest and tell my congregation that I hate sermon illustrations, and I got this one out of a volume in quickverse.

Honesty goes a LONG way with a congregation! Do not pass off the story of the squirrel falling out of the tree right in front of you as if it happened to you, when you get it out of a book on sermon illustrations. Offer your recycled sermon illustrations as, “I was reading a book on sermon illustrations, when I saw a story about a squirrell falling out of a tree. And so it is when we try to rely upon tradition to hold us up, instead of the Bible blah blah.”

By the way, I really did have a squirrell fall out of a tree in front of me once. I looked at my wife and told her, “As God is my witness, I have no idea what to do.” After a minute, the squirrel got up and ran away.

There you go. Sermon illustration. tell people you were reading a blog by Philip Dean, and…

so, what did I choose for my sermon?

__13. Illustrations

Pretending Judge Rooney, of Chicago, fined a man $100 plus court fees and sentenced him to jail for ninety days for impersonating a doctor and practicing medicine without a license. I wonder how many professing Christians, ministers, and laymen would be “hit” by a law fining those who pretended to be Christians and were not. Are we leading or misleading people by our pretensions?

Thus Saith Our Lord Ye call Me Master and obey Me not, Ye call Me Light and see Me not, Ye call Me Way and walk Me not, Ye call Me Life and desire Me not, Ye call Me wise and follow Me not, Ye call Me fair and love Me not, Ye call Me rich and ask Me not, Ye call Me eternal and seek Me not, Ye call Me gracious and trust Me not, Ye call Me noble and serve Me not, Ye call Me just and fear Me not, If I condemn you, blame Me not.

Hypocritical Excuse The man who says he is kept away from religion by hypocrites is not influenced by them anywhere else

__14. Quotes

Don’t stay away from church because there are so many hypocrites. There’s always room for one more. Arthur R. Adams (b. 1861)

There was only one book in all my illustrations that had anything on traditions… and it was for them. That’s a sermon illustration right there! THey have illustrations on Hypocrisy, but are afraid to speak against traditions!

We’re almost ready to analyze. Just a few more sections to complete, and we’ll deal with them tomorrow.

Being a Pastor 17 – The Sermon 10

There’s three steps to Bible study, and writing a sermon is no different. Here’s how Logos gives the study sequences…

Step 1: Read the passage in its context several times

Step 2: Identify important themes in the passage and connect them to the broad themes of the Bible

Step 3: Compare English translations

Step 4: Explore the passage’s literary and intertextual context

Step 5: Explore the passage’s historical and cultural context

Step 6: Pay special attention to the words and actions of the characters

The second stage was interpretation and it included two steps:

Step 7: Look for and study important words and phrases and connect them to the rest of Scripture

Step 8: Outline and interpret the passage and check your interpretation with the interpretation of others

The third stage was application and it included two steps:

Step 9: Apply the passage

Step 10: Share insight

Logos Pro Team, LT271 Study the Bible with Logos: Jonah 1, Logos Mobile Education (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

For obvious reasons, we’ve skipped step 3.

To write the research section we’ve done, we’ve finished the Observation. Now it’s the interpretation section.

You should have a good grasp of the sermon at this point. Everything here points to a need for a relationship with Jesus Christ. The Pharisees are divided over Him, some suspecting and even believing He’s the Messiah. Others are opposed, and begin to try to set traps for Him, to expose Him.

And in every encounter, the Lord keeps pointing to the Heart.


“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:5–9, KJV)

That goes in your text collection section of the sermon. You could at this point go into a study of pride (topic) – there you go, you have the LOgos search code for it. I’m going to mention it only briefly in my sermon, because I think I have enough there to go on to build the sermon. If it looks like I’m fat on time to preach, I can add it.

Remember, with only the points I’ve written, I’ve got only 2 minutes of preachable material. We’ve gathrered a lot in the research phase.

So, now, I begin playing with something Logos has that I’d never thought I’d find useful – the Sentence diagramming tool


Now, i’m probably not using the tools the way they’re supposed to be. Simply enough, if you put the text in, you can take the parts you feel are the points and drag them around, and you can see the elements of thought. That’s huge. But, I took the Conjunctive brackets, and used them on the left to show connections of conjunctives… and used them on the right to show the obvious, where the thoughts combine. Four brackets make it nearly unreadable, but it quickly shows me where everything connects.

This is huge. I never had thought of this before the Logos 7 upgrade in December. To be able to take a passage and drag it around to show the breakdown of thoughts and arguments helps you to see the flow better.

The important thing aboutn this is, honor thy father and mother is a commandment that is called, the first commandment of promise. You GET something by doing it. It means something to God! Yet, the exasperated son takes advantage of a loophole in Rabbinic law where one can set aside something as dedicated to the Temple – but until it’s given, it remains the property of the one dedicating it. You can’t inherit it, you can’t get benefit from it, becuase its set apart for God.

Yeahh, um… God wanted you to financially honor your father and mother in their old age, because life is harder as you get older. By dedicating it, you’re actually violating the INTENT of God’s command. And in doing so, you’re essentially cursing your father and mother.

How does that make dedicating your finances to the Temple but still keeping it – something that pleases God?

Answer. Um… not. not at all. And the passage from Isaiah that the Lord quotes actually goes on to say the Lord was tempted to destroy them many times for their hardness of heart, but in His mercy, He did not. If the Pharisees were conversant with Isaiah, they would have been aware of that. Most of them were not. Bad moment for them on Judgment Day.

Being a Pastor 16 – The Sermon 9

We’ve glanced at our commentaries. Let’s drag parts into the research section of our sermon so we can quote from them if we need to.

The scribes and Pharisees are not ill-naturedly seeking to entangle Jesus. They are genuinely bewildered; and in a very short time they are going to be genuinely outraged and shocked; for the basic importance of this passage is that it is not so much a clash between Jesus and the Pharisees in a personal way; it is something far more—it is the collision of two views of religion and two views of the demands of God.

William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 2001), 128.

In this passage, there meets us the whole conception of clean and unclean. We must be quite clear that this idea of cleanness and uncleanness has nothing to do with physical cleanness, or, except distantly, with hygiene. It is entirely a ceremonial matter. For the people to be clean was for them to be in a state where they might worship and approach God; for them to be unclean was for them to be in a state where such a worship and such an approach were impossible.

William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 2001), 128.

In the following verses, He highlights their guilt for a much greater offense than handwashing.

John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Mt 15:3

.Wash not their hands. Washing before meals was alone regarded as a commandment; washing after meals only as a duty. By and by the more rigorous actually washed between the courses, although this was declared to be purely voluntary. The distinctive designation for washing after meals was the lifting of the hands; while for washing before meat a term was used which meant, literally, to rub. If “holy,” i.e., sacrificial food was to be partaken of, a complete immersion of the hands, and not a mere “uplifting” was prescribed. As the purifications were so frequent, and care had to be taken that the water had not been used for other purposes, or something fallen into it that might discolor or defile it, large vessels or jars were generally kept for the purpose (see John 2:6). It was the practice to draw water out of these with a kind of ladle or bucket—very often of glass—which must hold at least one and a half egg-shells (compare draw out now, John 2:8). The water was poured on both hands, which must be free of anything covering them, such as gravel, mortar, etc. The hands were lifted up so as to make the water run to the wrist, in order to insure that the whole hand was washed, and that the water polluted by the hand did not again run down the fingers. Similarly, each hand was rubbed with the other (the fist), provided the hand that rubbed had been affused; otherwise, the rubbing might be done against the head, or even against a wall. But there was one point on which special stress was laid. In the “first affusion,” which was all that originally was required when the hands were not levitically “defiled,” the water had to run down to the wrist. If the water remained short of the wrist, the hands were not clean. See on Mark 7:3 (Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus”).

Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 86–87.

Already we have seen the Herodians combining with the Pharisees in the purpose to put Jesus to death (Mark 3:6=Matt. 12:14=Luke 6:11). Soon Jesus will warn the disciples against the Sadducees also (Matt. 16:6). Unusual order here, “Pharisees and scribes.” “The guardians of tradition in the capital have their evil eye on Jesus and co-operate with the provincial rigorists” (Bruce), if the Pharisees were not all from Jerusalem.

A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), Mt 15:1.

it must be kept in mind that the language of 5 is used in anger by the son, who, exasperated by his father, utters this ‘vow’ to cut off his parent from every kind of benefit he might gain from him. It is a curse against his father which he utters. The son does not dedicate his goods or his services to the Temple; he merely vows all away from his father. The Rabbis said: ‘Whoever shall say: “Korban is everything whereby thou mightest be profited,” he shall be bound.’

P. P. Levertoff, “Special Introduction,” in A New Commentary on Holy Scripture: Including the Apocrypha, ed. Charles Gore, Henry Leighton Goudge, and Alfred Guillaume, vol. 3 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1942), 164–165.

By putting the commandments of men on a level with the divine requirements, their whole worship was rendered vain—a principle of deep moment in the service of God.

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 46.

Okay, as you can see here, there’s a lot to glean from commentaries, and much to be rejected as well. Commentaries are the opinions of men, but as you see, there’s a certain level of agreement. JFB proceeds to cross reference Mark 7, and you could choose to go there as well, if you’re trying to preach the completeness of the message. However, I think that personally is best dealt with in its own sermon.

The sermon document should list the sermon as being 13 minutes long. It’s very possible that it’s better to do this as a notefile separate from the sermon document, that way you can really keep track of the sermon’s length, but still have the sermon template to deal with. I usually just plunge on, and trim away. I’m guilty of speaking for 20 minutes on a Wednesday night, so taking advantage of a sermon timer like this is a tool I really could use.

Now, Logos has a number of serious features that I could take advantage of here. I’ve listed the fancy code you can use in the search engines to see how many times Jesus Christ speaks to the Pharisees. You can take advantage of using any of the interactive tools. I poked at the Timeline, but it yields nothing of value.

The Passage analysis yields some interesting stuff. We’ve just gone through Jesus Christ walking on water, feeding thousands, healsmany people… and the Pharisees choose this moment to ask about washing hands.

Truly, masters of tact and good timing. Obviously, they didn’t get the point. So, Jesus will show mercy to the Syrophenician woman, and then… heal many and feed thousands.

After that the Pharisees… ask Jesus for a sign.

The Bible records the Lord looking at them and telling them, “No sign will be given except for that of the prophet Jonah.”

The Messiah was to settle matters of the Law. The Lord did that. The Messiah is supposed to raise people from the dead. He did that. The Messiah can do signs to prove he’s the Messiah. The Lord did that.

And they argue with Him about washing hands, and ask the Lord for a sign.

“Since you’re not paying attention, the only sign you get is when I am put to death, and rise from the dead.”

You’ve got a LOT here now to write this sermon.