Why We should Gladly Hear God’s Word and not Become Frustrated

Easter 3 Wednesday

Luke 24:25-26

“And [Christ] said to them: “You fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Did not Christ have to suffer this and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all of Scripture.”

We should also not forget the example of the gospel that entices and exhorts us to talk and hear about Christ gladly and to deal with Scripture and God’s Word, even if we do not right away understand everything and even if it does not right away strike our hearts as it should, thereby demonstrating what strength, benefit, and fruit it works when it is dealt with in the simplicity of the heart. For we see, first of all, that, although these two disciples were still full of unbelief, Christ will not and cannot stay away from them because they were concerned about Christ and talk and have a discussion about him in all simplicity and seemingly to no avail. In fact, Christ is with them right away and joins them in the kindest way. He soon realizes what is on their hearts and minds and begins to preach to them a beautiful, glorious sermon about the very article that they had been concerned about and that they doubted. They had never heard anything like it. Then, second, they soon experienced this article’s power so that their hearts no longer remained too heavy, dull, and cold to believe as they were before, but were moved and kindled and enlightened and got a new understanding, so that they then began to understand Scripture correctly. Scripture then became clear and lucid, although they did not understand it at all before. And, finally, the mask and cover was taken from their hearts and eyes so that they no longer regarded him to be a guest and stranger, but then rightly realized and experienced that he is no longer was far away from them, but that he is himself was present and working in them so that they were now completely certain in the faith and then no longer needed the bodily, visible revelation, but were soon able to go forth and preach also to the others and strengthen and help them against doubt and unbelief. This is why we too should, according to their example, gladly hear God’s Word and not become frustrated. For this is not only a necessary exercise for both the weak and the strong, the ignorant and the learned, that richly teaches everything that is necessary for salvation and that never can be learned completely. But it is also the means by which God wants to work in our hearts and give us faith and the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says it in Romans 10:17: “Faith comes from the hearing of God’s Word.” And it will certainly bear fruit where this is done earnestly, although the heart is at first cold and lazy in this regard. But, so long as you keep going and stick with it, it will not be in vain: The ignorant and erring are brought in and improved; the weak are strengthened; and finally the heart is warmed and enlightened so that Christ is understood and recognized better in Scripture. And even if there were no other benefit in it, we should be enticed to deal with Scripture gladly in order to please God and the Lord Christ and to offer them an act of worship dear to them. We should know that he is not far from us when we deal with Scripture, as he himself promises and says in Matthew 18:20: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am in their midst.” With him are also the dear angels that surround you and delight in it, while the devil is driven away and must yield, as he had to yield to Christ when he resisted him with God’s Word, Matthew 4:11.

 

St. Louis ed., 11:669-670.

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