Advent 4 A

Time to reflect on the two natures of Jesus!

Second Reading − Romans 1:1-7

Verse 3 is quoted in Formula of Concord, Solid Declaration, Article 8: Person of Christ (SD 8.37) as a biblical example of being careful when talking about Jesus' two natures. We probably don't spend much thought on this today, but as Paul's example shows in this verse, we have been given a pattern and practice of attending to the unique reality of Jesus and what that means about God's action.

Verse 4 is partly quoted a little later in the same article (SD 8.85) within a quote from Luther's Treatise on the Last Words of David showing how Luther was careful to not confuse the two natures of Jesus. In this particular section, Luther shows that careful attention actually shows a distinction with Jesus' dominion: first as the one through whom all things were created (his divine nature), and second temporal eternal dominion  as Mary's son (his human nature). This distinction is not to diminish what God is up to in Jesus, but to show the fullness of what God has done in uniting the divine and the human.


Yeah, this probably won't make it into your sermon this week. However, as we get this chance to reflect on the experience of Joseph, the Guardian of Our Lord, it is helpful to remember that there is a distinction between Jesus' divine and human natures, even in the unity. Careful attention to the distinction, rather than limiting our reflection in God's activity, might open us up to see that what God has done is much more significant that we thought.

  • From whence comes Jesus' authority to forgives sins?
  • Why does it matter that a human is forgiving sins with divine authority?