Sermon Prep Step 6 – Emotional Exegesis

We are finishing up the exegesis section of our sermon prep…

What you should realize is that interpreting the text is not a simple thing.

And you can do a lot more than we have done…

One thing I forgot to tell you about in the last email was that you should do what I call experiential exegesis.

Emotional Intelligence mind map business management strategyWhat am I talking bout?

Well, you have dug into what you see…

You have dug into what you hear…

You have dug into the textures you feel in the text…

You have dug into the tastes…

And you ave dug into what you smell…

Guess what…

Now I want you to read the text and tell me about the emotions of the characters and the emotions that come over you as your experience the text…



When you are watching Abraham getting ready to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice…tell me bout the emotions that you think may be invading Abraham.

A father offering up his only son…through which the promised one would come.

How does that feel?



Second guessing. You know he probably wondered if he was really hearing God or if he heard God right…

What about Isaac? What is he feeling?

He didn’t want to die.

He wanted to honor his father, but he didn’t want to feel a knife going through him.

What about you?

Does it make you think about the justice of God? Does it make you think about a possible contradiction with the ten commandments?

Does it make you love God more…or just bring questions?

If your text is an epistle. What does the words seem to tell you about the authors feelings and emotions?

What about the hearers of the epistle? How do you think you would feel hearing this letter if you were one of the original folks receiving the letter.

And how do you feel looking at it from the 21st century?

Do that with your text…write everything down…

This really helps you to get illustrations and stories that can help you when you are preaching.

Now…guess what…we will only have one more email on exegesis before we begin crafting our sermon. are you gonna spend your 30 minutes today? Here is your assignment…

1) Pray (Yep…)

2) Read your text and identify all the individuals in the text. Include the readers and yourself.

3) Write down the emotions that each individual may feel while reading the text.

You should really have a handle on your text now, and you ain’t even read any commentaries yet.

That’s what you want. Now after this point you can use your commentaries and other materials…But that’s the next email.

Till Tomorrow,

Brother Sherman

P.S. – If you want to see my full homiletic course. Go check it out at

P.S.S. – help us out by purchasing your materials through our amazon store:



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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Revised Common Lectionary
Proper 14 (February 26, 2017)
  • OT: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
  • Psalm: Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b
  • Epistle: Romans 10:5-15
  • Gospel: Matthew 14:22-33
Af Am Heritage Lectionary
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