From the Word: Jesus therefore said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” (John 4:48)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The Second Commandment
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Understand that all of this is adorning one’s self with God’s name, making a pretty show, or claiming to be right, whether it occurs in mundane, worldly business or in sublime, subtle matters of faith and doctrine. Numbered among liars are blasphemers too, and not just the most blatant, well known to all, who disgrace God’s name without fear (who are for the hangman to discipline, not us), but also those who publicly denigrate the truth and God’s Word and consign it to the devil. Of this, there is no need to speak further.
Pulling It Together: Among the crowds was a royal official who believed Jesus. While he took Jesus at his word, the rest seemed to need a show of it: signs and miracles. Trusting God to be good for his word is the measure of faith. Needing more, demanding more, is using the name of God in order to get what one wants. This was Gideon’s offense: he needed more than a word; he required a sign, a wonder, in order to believe. That is blasphemy. It profanes the sacred, insulting the truth of God’s word by not trusting the one behind the promise.
Prayer: Give me faith to believe, Lord, though I never see a miracle. Amen.
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Combining the message of salvation in Christ with personal witness, The Gospel in Miniature is a Lutheran guide for evangelism.