Nothing is too High for Faith

Christmas Sunday

John 1:1-3, 14

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word. That Word was with God in the beginning. All things were made through the Word, and without him nothing was made that was made.”

This is the highest gospel lesson of them all, but it is not, as some think, dark or difficult. For here the high article of the divinity of Christ is most clearly established, which all Christians should rightly know and may understand well. Nothing is too high for faith. This is why we, as much as we can, want to discuss it most clearly. And we do not want to hide it from the common man as the scholastic teachers do behind their made-up subtleties. And we also do not want to deter anyone from this article. First, then, we should know that the apostles drew everything they taught and wrote from the Old Testament. For everything is proclaimed in the Old Testament what was to take place and be preached in Christ in
the future, as St. Paul says in Romans 1:2: “God promised the gospel concerning his Son Christ by the prophets in Holy Scripture.” This is also why also the apostles’ sermons are based on the Old Testament. And there is not one word in the New Testament that does not look back into the Old Testament where it was proclaimed beforehand…The New Testament is nothing but a revelation of the Old Testament. Just as if someone first had a sealed letter and then broke the seal, so the Old Testament is a testamentary letter of Christ which he opened up after his death and which he has read out loud and proclaimed everywhere by means of the gospel. This is indicated in Revelation 5:5 by the Lamb of God
who alone opened the book with the seven seals that no one else in heaven, on earth, or under the earth was able to open. So that this gospel may now become clearer and easier, we must run behind us into the Old Testament to the places on which this gospel lesson is founded. And this is Moses in the first chapter of Genesis where we read in verses 1 through 3:
“In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was deserted and empty, and it was dark over the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the water. Then God said: Let there be light. And it was light.” Then Moses recounts how all creatures were created just like the light, namely, by speaking or the Word of God. E.g., God said: “Let there be heaven;” God said: “Let there be sun, moon, and stars,” etc. It follows clearly from this text of Moses that God has a Word through which he spoke before all creatures were made. And this Word may and cannot be a creature because all creatures were created through this divine Speaking, as Moses here cogently states when he says: “God said: Let there be light. And it was light.” The Word, then, must be before the light because the light is made through the Word. And so the Word must also be before all the other creatures that are made through the Word, as Moses writes. Let us go on: If the
Word was before all creatures, and if all the creatures were made and created through the same, the Word must be of a different nature than the creation. For when all things take their beginning, the Word already was there beforehand. And it does not let itself be comprehended in time and creation but hovers over time and creation. In fact, time and creation have their beginning through the Word. It is irrefutable, then, that what is not temporal must be eternal. And that which has no beginning, cannot be temporal. And that which is not a creature, must be God. For there is nothing besides God and creation.

St. Louis ed., 11:154-156.

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