I was recently asked, “What is the best sermon you have ever heard?” It is definitely an interesting question to ponder. My favorite preacher was Fred Craddock, before he went home to Jesus a few years ago. His sermons entitled, “Who Cares?” and “When the Roll is Called Down Here” are ones that I have heard so many times I have them almost memorized. The late Calvin Miller has a sermon on Habakkuk called “I Wanna Get Washed,” and it is the single most creative and engaging sermon I have ever heard. My professor Mark Scott’s sermon on the cross called, “Catch the Spirit of Calvary” is a classic and deserves consideration.
The more I thought about the question though, the more it perplexed me. I have listened to thousands of sermons in my life, and all of them have blessed me in their unique way. God has spoken to me at times in unexpected ways. He has used different preachers to say something into my life, usually at just the right time. While many of their sermons would not have been considered the best, they contributed to my spiritual growth.
My main problem with this question is it makes the sermon a speech, and we are to sit in judgment of its content and style. Maybe a better question to ask is, “Which sermon has had the greatest impact on your life?” Which one of them helped you to grow spiritually in a new and exciting way? Was there ever a sermon that helped you come closer to God in knowledge and action? The best sermon is the one that makes you live like Jesus.