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Potential Theme: Mark 8:27-38

September 9, 2009

Today I decided to go in a different direction than I had planned yesterday.  I will discuss how it is that Peter is the mediator of temptation for Jesus.  We are never tempted by our enemies–only our friends who have our best interests at heart.  These are the thoughts I have so far for this week’s sermon*:

Theme (What is God doing in the text?): God is leading us to true life through following Jesus.

Need (What is the human need reflected in the text?): To allow Jesus to be who God needs him to be.

Image (What is the dominant image for the sermon?): Friends; well-intentioned but misguided help.

Mission (To what action is the text leading us?): To share just enough help, and not too much.

On the surface, the theme and need do not match the image and mission.  I will make the connection between these two sets of elements by discussing Peter’s actions toward Jesus.  He misunderstands the Messiah, but also wants to save his friend from trouble.  To what extent are we agents of temptation when we try to “save” people?  How does our discipleship inform our helping of others?  What are your thoughts?

*These categories are adapted from Paul Scott Wilson’s The Four Pages of the Sermon (Nashville: Abingdon, 1999).

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