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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 151

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From the Word: 35 Now as he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. 36 And hearing a crowd of people going by, he asked what this was. 37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 And those in front rebuked him, so that he would be quiet. Yet he screamed even more. “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Then Jesus stopped and commanded him be led to him. And when he drew near, he asked him, 41 “What do you desire me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, that I recover my sight.” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has saved you.” 43 And immediately, he recovered his sight, and followed him, glorifying God. And when they saw it, the entire crowd gave praise to God. (Luke 18:35–43)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism

The Third Article

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,* the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

What does this mean?

I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him; but the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in the true faith. In the same way, he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and preserves it in unity with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church, he daily forgives abundantly all my sins and the sins of all believers; and at the last day, he will raise me and all the dead and will grant everlasting life to me and to all who believe in Christ. This is most certainly true!

*or “holy Christian Church” (“catholic” here refers to the fellowship of all believing Christians)

Pulling It Together: We may think of this calling of the Spirit as a solitary affair, as though the Spirit says, “You there, come and follow Christ.” And so he does call each one of us, but we follow Christ together. This is the church; we are each part of the Body. We see how to follow Jesus in the company of other followers, and in their companionship we are encouraged to continue following.

See how a multitude clamored after Jesus as he neared Jericho? Yet, the whole company learned how to truly follow Jesus when a blind man cried out, “Lord, let me receive my sight.” Jesus granted faith true sight and the blind man, now seeing, followed Jesus. Then, all the people praised God.

This is how the Spirit works in the church. He calls people to see Christ through faith. Then the whole company of believers is encouraged and praise God. In the church, the blind receive sight, and the dead are raised to walk in newness of life. This is the Spirit’s work among us.

Prayer: Open my eyes, Lord, that I may follow you. Amen.

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