Interesting comment today. After interacting with students’ sermon outlines on a passage I got the privilege of preaching the passage. One participant observed afterwards, “we were looking at this passage on a very human level, but you went deeper to show us God and how He sees us, which made it so much more powerful.”
Very encouraging feedback, but my point is actually this: they were looking at a list of instructions in an epistle. I probably did dig a little more than they could in the passage itself. But the God vision came from a wider lens, not a bigger shovel. I looked at the passage in its context and saw God at work. They looked at the instructions and felt pressure to obey. I looked at God’s work and saw a privilege to participate in.
Sometimes we need to dig deeper in the text (actually, always). Sometimes we need to look wider at the context (actually, always). Always we need to make sure we are preaching God and not just human.