More than a Great Teacher

Mark 1:21-28

From the Reformer

In the first place, the Creed has hitherto been divided into twelve articles, although, if all points which are written in the Scriptures and which belong to the Creed were to be distinctly set forth, there would be far more articles, nor could they all be clearly expressed in so few words. But that it may be most easily and clearly understood as it is to be taught to children, we shall briefly sum up the entire Creed in three chief articles, according to the three persons in the Godhead, to whom everything that we believe is related, so that the First Article, of God the Father, explains Creation, the Second Article, of the Son, Redemption, and the Third, of the Holy Ghost, Sanctification. Just as though the Creed were briefly comprehended in so many words: I believe in God the Father, who has created me; I believe in God the Son, who has redeemed me; I believe in the Holy Ghost, who sanctifies me. One God and one faith, but three persons, therefore also three articles or confessions.

—Martin Luther, Large Catechism

Pulling It Together

When Jesus taught, there was, as Calvin said, a “strange, indescribable, and unwonted majesty [that draws] to him the minds of men.” Yet Jesus is more than just a great teacher. Some people will not allow themselves to see Jesus as divine. Indeed, some who accept him as Redeemer will not believe him to be God. Here is a tragic error; for if Jesus is not divine he is just a man, no matter how good. As merely man, he would have been an an unacceptable final sacrifice for the sins of the world. Were he not divine, sacrifice for the world’s sins would need to continue in the Temple today—and nearly 70 generations so far would have died in their sins.

May you be drawn to the teaching, but also the redemption of God the Son.

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