Wednesday, September 9, 2015
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country." Luther's Works 67.
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country," etc.
This is a sweeping aphorism: that a prophet is without honor in His own country. It is all too true. John 1 says something similar: "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him." St.Paul, likewise, says, "They turn their hearing away from the truth" [ 2 Tim. 4:4]. And we see these horrifying signs in all the histories: that the Word of God is never so despised as where it is richly taught. Those who do not have it want it; those who have it despise it. Indeed, what is worse, heresies do not arise except amid the churches and from the churches. And this does not occur for any other reason except that they despise and disdain the Word, and then soon become judges over it. For if they did not disdain it, they would hear it in reverence and not stir up heresies.
Therefore, let this be our consolation, that our word--or, rather, God's Word--is held in disdain by the very ones who are closest to us and that it is no wonder that it should be disdained, not only by the peasants and nobles, the ones who have quickly had their fill of it, but even by the learned and those of our own household (or our fellow bishops), who seek to cast us down from the mountain (cf. Luke 4:29] so long as we refuse to speak and do the things they want. Here it is a matter of "the prophet in his own country," and as Matthew quotes from Micah [7:6] in Matthew 10 [:36]: "A person's enemies will be those of his own household." However, on the other hand, it comforts us that Jesus "passing through their midst, went away" [Luke 4:30]. They are not going to bring things to an end and must leave the prophet alone.
(Luther's Works, 67, p. 218. Annotations on Matthew.)
The latest book came in the mail. I have not read anything in it except this page 218. Important stuff, we can see.