“In Scripture and nowhere else” by Martin Luther

And assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah: for prom you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’ (Matt. 2:4–6)

Here we ask why Christ did not lead these Magi up to Bethlehem with the star, but instead permitted His birth, which was now known, to be searched for in Scripture. He did this to teach us to cling to Scripture and not to follow our own presumptuous ideas or any human teaching.

For it was not His desire to give us His Scripture in vain. It is in Scripture and nowhere else, that He permits Himself to be found. He who despises Scripture and sets it aside, will never find Him.

We heard earlier that the angel gave a sign to the shepherds [Luke 2:12]; but to Mary or Joseph or to any other man, however pious they may have been, He gave no sign except the swaddling clothes in which He was wrapped, and the cradle into which He was laid, that is, the Scripture of the Prophets and the Law.

In these He is enclosed, they possess Him, they speak of Him alone and witness to Him and are His sure sign, as He says Himself (John 5:39).”

–Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 52: Sermons II (ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann; vol. 52; Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 171–172.

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Filed under Bible, Biblical Theology, Christian Theology, Christology, Incarnation, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

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