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We Don't Have Men Like That

We are called to live in service to the King.
This sermon is part of the sermon series "Harmony and Humility in the Church". See series.


[Editorial comment: Sunukjian delivers this sermon as a first-person narrative. References to props or stage directions will appear in italics.]

Enter as Octavian, a Praetorian Guard, coming into the squad room after a six-hour duty of having been chained to Paul. One end of the chain is still attached to his right wrist. Octavian addresses Marcus, another guard, by facing left and looking down at Marcus, who is seated. He addresses Paul by facing right and looking down at Paul, seated at a writing desk. Paul addresses Octavian by facing left, looking up.

Hey, Marcus, how 'ya doing? Hey, your sword is sharp enough; you ought to be oiling your shield instead.

No, I don't have any more oil. I think Sergius does, though. I don't think he'll mind if you borrow some.

Hey, help me get this off first, will ya'? (Indicates the chain) Thanks.

Octavian has been chained to Paul for six hours every other day for the past three weeks.

I've been with that Paul guy again—chained to him six hours every other day for the past three weeks. I don't know how to figure him out. He doesn't act like a man who's going to stand trial for his life within the next couple of months. He gets lots of visitors to that house he's renting, but when they talk about the trial, I get the impression it doesn't really matter to Paul how it turns out. He keeps talking about a win-win situation: he wins if he's set free, and he wins if he's executed. On the one hand he goes back to what he was doing; on the other he goes up to be with this King he's always talking about.

I said to him once, "You don't look too worried for a man who could die in the next few months."

He said, "Octavian, you have no idea how excited I am about what's happening right now. ...

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Donald R. Sunukjian is professor of homiletics and chair of the Christian Ministry and Leadership Department at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California.

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Sermon Outline:


I. Octavian has been chained to Paul for six hours every other day for the past three weeks.

II. Paul has told Octavian about the letter he is writing to the Philippians.

III. Paul asked Octavian if he knows anyone who genuinely cares more about others than himself.

IV. Paul told Octavian about the trouble Epaphroditus went through to bring Paul money.