Friday, October 26, 2012

That Jesus was born a Jew

continued from last week...

"And although the gospel has been proclaimed to all the world, yet He committed the Holy Scriptures, that is, the law and the prophets, to no nation except the Jews, as Paul says in Romans 3 and Psalm 147. "He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and ordinances to Israel. He has not dealt thus with any other nation; nor revealed his ordinances to them."
At this Martin stopped reading, twirled his finger and said, “then it goes into prophecy and other things...We’ll see if it helps them to see.” 
He then paused and asked, “A customer you say? What brought him into your shop?” Heinrich thought this might come up so he had an answer for that. “His wagon broke an axle and I put a new one on. I guess he was passing through to another town. Your pamphlet sounds interesting. ‘That Jesus was born a Jew’ - of course Jesus remained one throughout His life, as did the Apostles.” At this, Luther seemed a bit uncomfortable. “Why, yes, though they of course became Christians.” Heinrich thought better of arguing the point so he sought to steer the subject closer to his goal. “They certainly have been ill treated, as you say.” Luther replied, “Yes, it has not been easy for them. For 1500 years the wandering Jew has met resistance everywhere. Of course, that is their due for the decisions they have made. I just hope that a better presentation of the Gospel will bring them closer to the truth. It’s hard to consider things when you’re being forced into it or threatened by it. We’ll let the Word of God do the convincing and see what happens.” Martin wanted to move onto something else, so he asked, “How are your mother and sister doing? It was good to see all of you at the meetings.” To this Heinrich said, “They are doing well, thank you.” Turning his gaze to the nearby table, Heinrich continued, “What else are you working on? I see a lot of books here.” 
Luther looked at the pile; you could see by his eyes that he was trying to inventory them all as he said, “Well, I continue to research and study for the translation of the German Bible - I’m in the historical books of the Old Testament now. I’m also writing a letter to my friend Erasmus and reading an excellent paper by Philipp Melanchthon on systematic theology. There are a few other letters that I’m responding to such as how to answer the King of England. Old Henry, being under Rome’s sway, has given a very critical review of my latest work: The Babylonian Captivity of the Church. I shall have my response to that, though I must sit on it for a while. And then, of course, there’s this Sunday’s sermon, a few hymns that I’d like to finish, and something that I’m calling a small catechism. There’s never a dull moment here.” 
Heinrich was impressed. He replied, “That’s amazing - you’re the right man for the job and I’m sure we’ll all appreciate the effort.” And then, as Luther changed postures, he stretched and groaned a bit, “I just wish I was young like you; my old body gives me pains through it all. But I won’t bore you with that. God’s grace is sufficient for the task. Is there anything else?” Luther sensed that the storm had lessened and was thinking of the time.
Heinrich took the hint, and said, “No, I believe my question was answered and it was nice to learn about what you’re doing. Since I played a small part in the drama of it all, I’d like to keep up with the progress. I guess I can get going now.” He headed for the door and pulled his coat closer. Luther opened the door and said, “Have a safe and drier trip home, and thanks again for coming to see me.” Heinrich replied, “It was a great blessing to be here; God bless you in the rest of the day.”

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