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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 123

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From the Word: 28 Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “You have believed because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:28–29)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism 

The Second Article

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!

Pulling It Together: Thomas, the perennial doubter, at seeing his crucified rabbi alive and standing before him, confessed what John had related at the beginning of his Gospel. Jesus is the Word become flesh, that Word who was in the beginning with God—and who is God. Thomas confesses that this risen Christ Jesus is both Lord and God.

Jesus denies neither. Rather, he proclaims that there is a blessedness in confessing this without the proof of having seen him. This is what we do in the Apostles’ Creed: without seeing, without proofs, we confess Christ Jesus to be Lord and God. We must and can only do so through faith, by the grace of God. Blessed are they who do. 

Prayer: Thank you for the Gospels, Lord, that we may believe through what is written. Amen.

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