I recently began a new sermon series at our church on the Gospel of John. The first message is on John 1:1-5, and it is titled “A Voice Plainer Than Thunder,” which is a line from John Chrysostom’s first homily on the fourth Gospel.
After the message, someone asked me what resources I used to prepare the sermon. The answer is that my main resource is the text itself. I don’t mean that as a “Jesus juke” but as a description of my first and most important stage of sermon prep, which begins in reading and working with the Greek text. After that (sometimes during), I will read some commentaries.
For this sermon, I relied heavily on D. A. Carson’s classic exposition in the Pillar series, The Gospel according to John. I also read Colin Kruse’s work in the Tyndale series, John: An Introduction and Commentary. As I mentioned, I took a look at “The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom” in Series 1, Volume 14 of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Also, the information about Arianism comes from The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (2005).
Sometimes before I preach, I will listen to sermons from other preachers on the text. I don’t always take time to do this, but I did on this one. I listened to John Piper’s opening message on John’s Gospel that he delivered to Bethlehem Baptist Church back in 2008. I found his exposition to be really helpful. I cite him twice in the sermon, but his sermon informed mine beyond those two citations. Highly recommended.
You can listen to the message below, or subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or iTunes.