Exegeting my own heart

Preachers need to do three types of exegesis

1. We need to clearly understand the text

2. We need to know the congregation we are speaking to

3. We need to be aware of our own hearts.


The third one, exegeting myself, means being aware of where God is challenging us, this includes where he disagrees with and rebukes us but also where he encourages and comforts us. In other words, I pray “Lord speak to me that I may speak…”  It means being aware of where my biases, hobby horses, cultural assumptions etc are.

Here are some things that might help us to do this.

1. Spend some time reading and thinking about a book of the Bible well in advance of when you preach it. We will be preaching on 2 Samuel later on in this year. So I’ve already been reading through it and returning to it since back in 2016. This gives us time to reflect devotionally before we rush to preach.

2. Take time to think and pray through the areas where you know you struggle.

3. When you are preparing, do you ever feel an emotional break. You know that the text demands a particular application but you feel uncomfortable or afraid of going ahead with it. It might be gooto stop and ask why.

4. Check backthrough previous sermons. Do you find yourself returning to a common theme. Is it possible that you are imposing that theme even it doesn’t fit.

5. Send your draft sermon out to others and invite challenge.

6. Seek out commentaries and sermons on the same subject from others . Do they bring a different perspective. How does a different context affect how someone approaches the text. This may include different cultural contexts and also different historical contexts. It may also j include reading or listening to people you may not agree with. Why do you disagree with them?

7.  Think about how you would preach this passage in a different context. What if you were preaching to people who face immediate persecution? What if you were preaching 200 years ago? Would you preach exactly the same sermon?