Chapter 1

5 Steps to Get the Big Idea

Finding the central idea of the text and staying focused on it.

In his book, Biblical Preaching, Haddon Robinson states, "Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept." He goes on to say, "A sermon should be a bullet, not buckshot. Ideally each sermon is the explanation, interpretation, or application of a single dominant idea supported by other ideas, all drawn from one passage or several passages of Scripture." Robinson calls this the "big idea." Others have called it the central idea, proposition, or theme of the sermon.

Discovering the big idea of a passage of Scripture is not always easy. It can be like staring at one of those 3-D pictures for a long time until the image begins to take shape and then appears. In the same way, you will often have to stare at and study the text for a long time before the big idea appears. The following is meant to be a pathway to help you discover the big idea of a passage. Throughout this journey we will consider the story of Mary and Martha from Luke 10:38-42.

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