Is that really true? - January 2023

by Pastor Pete Panitzke on January 18, 2023

The Bible contains many unlikely or impossible events.

  • In today’s Old Testament reading (Genesis 43-44) Joseph sees the fulfillment of his dream from more than 20 years earlier (Genesis 37). His brothers bow down to him.
  • In the New Testament reading (Matthew 12:38-13:9) there is a reference to Jonah in the belly of a fish for three days.

Are these things really true?

In the imagery of Jesus’ parable, the devil can use that question to snatch the Word away from us.

I find the answer in this simple fact: Jesus spoke of these impossible events as truth.

Every question that comes to our mind about Bible events comes back to this: The most impossible event is that someone who is crucified came back to life.

So this morning I again go out to the empty tomb. I again ask the Holy Spirit to convince me that Jesus rose from the dead. If our God did this impossible thing, then I will believe the impossible.

I will even believe the most impossible things:

  • The Creator of heaven and earth knows me by name,
  • He calls me his brother (Matthew 12:50)l,
  • He forgives me, and
  • He promises that I shall live with him forever in his Father’s house.

May the seed of the Word take root and produce fruit in our hearts  today. Amen.

A Lutheran Leadership Conference Insight


There are six of us on staff in Chicago attending the WELS Lutheran Leadership Conference. It is an amazing gathering...

  • 1300 WELS leaders, 52% of them lay women and lay men, eager to see the Word of God sown.
  • Of those 1300 people, 400 of them are WELS pastors, 1/3 of our entire pastorate here, eager to learn to lead God's church more effectively. 

I am excited for the future of God's Church as I listen to excellent presentations and talk with so many people committed to Christ. 

And I continue to learn! Last evening as our team gathered for dinner, one of our team mentioned the parable of the sower came up in one of the breakout groups he attended. The presenter offered a new way to think about the 100-fold harvest from the seed... the Word can be read or heard, and then be remembered and reapplied in our lives 100 times. 

I pray that each of us regularly comes across those nuggets of Scripture that are memorable for us and that comfort and sustain and strengthen us in our service to Christ.  

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