Explanation, application & mention of Jesus

The other day I wrote a post about what constitutes a competent sermon. You can read that post here. Essentially, I said a competent sermon must have two things: (1) explains what the passage means; and, (2) applies the passage and explains what it means specifically for the people listening.

Since then, I have received or seen various comments along the same theme. My post was apparently deficient because I didn’t specifically mention Jesus by name. How can a sermon be considered competent when I haven’t even mentioned Jesus as being a vital ingredient?

What we learn from the various comments on this theme is that an awful lot of pastors don’t seem to think the person of Jesus has anything to do with explaining what a passage means nor applying it to the people in front of them. Which is interesting.

Perhaps this is what explains the common phenomenon of preachers droning on for 30 minutes and then shoehorning Jesus onto the end of their sermon as though they were pulling a rabbit out of a magicians hat. If Jesus is neither part of the explanation of a passage (and he must be because the whole Bible is about him) nor part of the application of the passage (and he must be because it only applies to us in the light of Christ), but if you are of the view that it is unacceptable not to mention Jesus, I suppose that is what you’ll get.

The interesting thing about that is that those who take this approach aren’t really preaching very competent sermons. If Jesus is neither part of the explanation nor application, he is an afterthought. A tacked-on appendage because we feel we ought to include him. Which suggests we have missed the point of the passage altogether because Jesus is the key to scripture, is he not?

Of course, if you are explaining and applying the passage as you ought, you will not only mention Jesus, he will be central. I am just surprised so many pastors don’t seem to think so.