Peace Lutheran Church Sussex, Wisconsin

Congregation at Prayer: July 16, 2023

The Catechism: The Sacrament of Holy Baptism—Part IV

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Catechesis Notes for the Week — Jesus Is the Great “I AM”—The Christ, the Son of the Living God—This week’s Bible narratives from the Gospel according to St. Matthew show forth the divinity of Jesus. The confession of the Church is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. As Jesus Walks on the Water, the disciples are afraid and think that He is a ghost. Jesus reply is poorly translated in most English Bibles. Instead of the typical translation, “It is I” Jesus actually said, “I AM”— the name God gave Moses at the burning bush. Jesus demonstrated that He is the Son of God, the great “I AM” not only with His words, but also by the miracle of walking on the water. In this miracle, the raging seas are under His feet proclaiming Him the Lord and Savior from divine judgment, sin, and death. In Out of Man’s Heart Proceed Evil Thoughts, Jesus teaches us the all-pervasive nature of the corruption of sin we inherited from Adam. In a Canaanite Woman Trusts Jesus’ Word, we see the miracle of faith that the Word of the Gospel produced in a Gentile woman whose daughter was demon-possessed. Though her experiences spoke against her with the false message that Jesus was not for her and that He did not care, she held fast to the promise of the Gospel spoken to Abraham, namely that Abraham’s Seed was the Savior of all nations. Jesus commends her faith because her faith was exclusively in Him and the promise of salvation in Jesus’ name. In the Feeding of the 4,000, the second of Jesus’ great feeding miracles, we again see that Jesus is the bread of life, but not for the Jews only (the feeding of the 5,000), but also for all nations (the feeding of the 4,000). In this miracle it is the third day (an allusion to the resurrection). There are seven loaves (the number for the Lord and the seven nations that had surrounded Israel). The number 4 is associated with “the four-winds” or “the four corners” of the earth, signifying that the Gospel will go out into all the world to draw all sinners to the feast of salvation. In the Pharisees and Sadducees Seek a Sign, Jesus warns the disciples concerning their “works-righteous doctrine” and lays out for us that the only “sign” that will be given to prove that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God, is the sign of Jonah, namely, Jesus’ death and resurrection. In the Confession of Peter and His Rebuke, we learn that the confession that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God” is not only the foundation of the Church’s confession, but it is also why Peter is rebuked by Jesus when He denies that Jesus’ suffering and death is at the center of that confession.CP230716