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John the Steadfast (b Jun 30, 1468 d. Aug 16, 1532)

John the Steadfast was the brother of Frederick III “the Wise”. He became the elector (leader) of Saxony when Frederick III died in 1525. He was a strong supporter of Martin Luther. He staunchly refused to persecute Lutherans and even declared his area of Saxony to be Lutheran.

John’s motto was “The Word of God abides forever”. He often listened to the preaching of Luther and sometimes even took notes. He even was threatened to be exiled for keeping Luther safe from other princes loyal to the Pope. He was willing to use the soldiers of Saxony to defend the truth of the Gospel and Luther with it.

John also promoted Lutheranism by encouraging all priests in Saxony to preach the Gospel in its purity and also to administer the Sacraments according to Christ’s institution. He helped in the process of visitation, where certain secular and church officials would visit each pastor and parish and provide support and examination for all within their territory.

John the Steadfast was one of the leaders at the Augsburg Diet where the Lutheran princes confessed the faith in front of Emperor Charles V. He signed the Augsburg Confession and boldly confessed a faith which was before then outlawed.

John died suddenly in 1532, and Luther preached his funeral sermon on 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18. Where Frederick was a political mastermind who could maintain the peace, John was courageous and bold to confess the faith, even in the face of threats of violence. Both men used their God-given skills to promote the truth of the Scriptures in their own way. One can see God’s work through both leaders at their appropriate times.

The bold faith of John the Steadfast is celebrated on the commemoration of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession.

Small Catechism: The Lord’s Prayer
Gospel Reading: Matthew 14 & 15

Prayer: For school administrators, staff, and teachers, that they would do their work as unto the Lord and realize the high calling involved in training children to become fruitful workers for the good of their neighbor. For students, that they would learn from their teachers with diligence and faithfulness to God’s Word.

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