15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17, NIV)
These words have been rolling in my head for the past couple of weeks. I needed to write a new sermon and I also needed an exegesis (interpretation) paper for my New Testament class. It seemed like a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Usually exegesis should be done before the sermon is written. To say that I did not do any exegesis would be wrong, but the sermon is just about put to bed, ready to preach tomorrow but the exegesis paper is only started. Of course, I did do the work of interpretation. I read the passage in a number of versions (I cannot read Greek…yet), studied the key words and concepts in Bible dictionaries and commentaries, considered the culture from which the story comes and in which its intended readers live and then wrote…the sermon.
Going back to write the paper in a way that is acceptable to academia won’t be a daunting task anymore. I just seem to have it in the wrong order. Of course, I don’t think that full time pastors actually write exegesis papers every week either. I’m sure that it looks more like notes on a legal pad, but I have to admit, I really don’t know.
A couple of more times through, and then a fitting conclusion.