Earlier this year, in preparation for my class sermon on 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 (Paul on the Lord’s Supper) before my classmates and professors, one of the commentaries I used was Gordon D. Fee‘s The First Epistle to the Corinthians of the New International Commentary on the New Testament series, which I found extremely helpful. Along the way I came across a great quote on exegesis from Fee in another source, which I believe must always be kept in mind when doing exegesis and sermon preparation:
“We bring our exegesis to fruition when we ourselves sit with unspeakable wonder in the presence of God, contemplate His riches, pray that they might be poured out on our own friends and family; and stay there in contemplation long enough that our only response is doxology: ‘to our God and Father be glory for ever and ever, Amen.’ Until we have done this, I would venture, we have done our exegesis only tentatively. We have been mere historians.
To be true exegetes we must hear the words with our hearts, we must bask in God’s own glory, we must be moved to a sense of overwhelming awe at God’s riches in glory, we must think again on the incredible wonder that these riches are ours in Christ Jesus, and we must then worship the living God by singing praises to His glory.”
– Gordon D. Fee, “To What End Exegesis? Reflections on Exegesis and Spirituality in Philippians 4:10-20,” Bulletin for Biblical Research 8 (1998), 88