How Words Become Miracles

Easter 3 Saturday

Luke 24:25-27

“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.”


Genesis 3:15 alone is the one verse – as the first and chief verse from which the others flowed later on – which Christ without a doubt did not forget and which he interpreted out of his rich Spirit, so that you see that these are the kind of words – miracles! – no reason is able to comprehend or fathom. They are understood only when the Holy Spirit comes, preaches, and reveals them to those who believe them and remain with them in the simplicity of their hearts. Then it begins to taste. Then these words give power and strength so that one must say: “This does it!” This may enlighten the heart and kindle a fire in it. This is how the prophets looked into the verses in Moses and drew their glorious prophecy concerning Christ, e.g., Isaiah in chapter 7, verse 14, clearly posits from Genesis 3:15 the prophecy concerning Christ’s birth in plain words: “Look, a virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a Son,” etc. Likewise, the entire fifty-third chapter concerning his suffering, rising, and how he would give himself as the sacrifice for our sin, etc. Without a doubt, Christ referred to it as well in this sermon of his. In the same way, the apostles, these foolish fishermen, also did not learn Scripture in the schools of the great teachers of Scripture, but learned to understand it by the revelation by which Christ guided them into Scripture. This is why they are able to turn a single verse into a book or sermon which the world cannot understand. And if I had the Spirit Isaiah or Paul had, I also could turn this one verse into a new testament if that had not already been done. From where did St. Peter get, or where is it written in Moses, what he says in 1 Peter 1:11, “The prophets who prophesied concerning the future grace upon you sought and searched for this salvation, and they also searched which time the Spirit of Christ in them pointed to”? Who told him that the Spirit was Christ’s and prophesied concerning Christ before the prophets existed and that Christ with the Holy Spirit existed before all? Are these the words of a fisherman or those of an intelligent and wise teacher of Scripture? Neither. They are the revelation of the Holy Spirit who previously had revealed it also to the prophets. Likewise, where is it written in Moses what the letter to the Hebrews says in chapter 1, verses 3-4 that Christ sat down at the right hand of the Father, as a Lord over all things, having become much higher and better than the angels? To be sure, he took it out of the Old Testament, but not by reason. He saw it there by revelation. This is why he also concludes: If Christ is a Son of God and Lord of the angels, he is certainly more and a higher being than the angels. Now, any angel is mightier than the whole world and the whole human nature. Still, this virgin’s natural Child is to be a Lord, not only over the evil angels, but also over the good and holy angels. Therefore, he must be of one power and substance with God. No one will say or believe this except out of the revelation. If I were to take Moses, the psalm, Isaiah, and also the same Spirit they had, I would make a new testament as good as the one written by the apostles. But since we do not have the Spirit as richly and powerfully as they did, we must learn from them and drink out of their fountains. … The other verses Christ expounded for the disciples, without a doubt, were those which also the apostles later used. They heard them here from Christ himself and learned to understand them better after Pentecost.


St. Louis ed., 11:677-679.

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