Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

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Lafayette, CO 80026
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September 26 – The Sure And Certain Prophetic Word

“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21

Devotional Thought For The Day

I don’t want to beat a dead horse – and this issue truly is a dead horse, but we need to remember reality as we read various continuing articles on this whole business about Jesus’ supposed “marriage.” It has now been acknowledged that the “bit” of papyrus may not even be legitimate.  It’s history is unknown, its source is unknown, and it hasn’t been fully tested for age.  Nonetheless, various authors continue to ride this “dead horse” in print – even though they clearly acknowledge that this “bit,” even if it is ancient, came from “gnostic” sources, not from any “Scripture” received within the early Christian Church.  The problem continues to be an implicit and thoroughly uneducated assumption that early “Gnosticism” occurred “within” the Christian Church, not as a separate competing group that was repugnant to those who followed Peter’s instruction, to “pay heed” to the prophetic Word of God “more fully confirmed,” which was produced and provided for us through the prophets and apostles [the real ones, the authors of the Bible] by the power of the Holy Spirit. Anything that conflicted with or added to this “prophetic word” would have been loathsome and repudiated within the early Christian Church.

The last article I read on this matter argued that the main reason Christian churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church, can’t objectively consider the words on this “bit” of papyrus, is that we have a low view of marriage and a high view of celibacy.  The argument is that we cannot envision Jesus as being married, being with a woman, and at the same time being the Divine Son of God and the Savior of the world.  This is a patently absurd attack – especially in view of the fact that only Roman Catholicism insists that their “clergy” remain celibate and unmarried.  Frankly, when Scripture asserts that Jesus was “in all points tempted as we are, yet was without sin” [Heb. 4:15], one wonders how this was possible if He hadn’t been married.  We do not shun this topic and condemn the ignorance and misinformation of the authors out of some distorted pietistic notions regarding marriage and sexuality.  Rather, the whole matter is one of confusing the ancient sources, equating ancient gnostic literature with Holy Scripture, and attempting to mix the two together into some strange brew, and then slandering Christianity by identifying it with this modern concoction.

The Bible doesn’t specifically say that Jesus was not married – however, it describes all of the important aspects of His life and ministry, and there is no mention of His being married.  Therefore Christians have consistently objected to any speculation that He was married – for we pay attention to a “prophetic word more fully confirmed,” and this word is silent on the matter.  Further, there is no historical evidence that He was married or had children – and surely as important a figure as He became in the first two centuries, any wife or children [and grandchildren, etc.] that He had would have been prominent and written about by the apostles and early church fathers, those who had immediate contact with and who were taught by the apostles.  They are completely silent on the matter – although they were deeply concerned about issues of marriage and sexuality, as we are today.  There is nothing in their writings, however, in regard to Jesus being married – and if they could have used Him as an example, as they frequently do in many other aspects of human living, they surely would have for marriage.

Again, the rise of “Gnosticism” and its challenge to Christianity in the first two or three centuries was always a matter of sources, what was authoritative for faith and life.  The Christian church had Holy Scripture, the 66 books of the Bible; the Gnostics had their own fictional, fabricated “gospels” written centuries later by their own authors under pseudonyms.  To equate or confuse these two dramatically different “sources” is dreadful and willful ignorance – and to slander the church today as the Gnostics did centuries earlier is inexcusable.  I’ve wondered what that would have been like – had Jesus been married, and although this aspect of His human nature, like many other aspects of the incarnation, is full of mystery, it is no less conceivable than His sweating, tiring, eating, sleeping, and ultimately His suffering and dying for our sins on the cross.  But we do not believe and live on speculation but rather “we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed” and we do well “to pay attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place,” for it is the product and gift of the Holy Spirit of God.  Those who look elsewhere, who are hankering for other “revelations” and other “scriptures” have nothing to do with Christianity – for true disciples of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ “continue in His Word.” [Jn. 8:31]  God grant such blessedness to us all!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thanks and praise be to You that You have provided us with the true Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise to salvation through faith in You, and are sufficient to enable and empower within us every good work. Thank You for the protection Your Word provides for us against false belief, immorality, and ignorance of God, the only True and Living God.  Keep us firm and safe – with all Your dear children of all times and places – in the clear, pure, and blessed teachings of Your Word, the Bible.  Amen.