Just before Christmas we get the Sundays of John the Baptist and his witness and confession.  Once again Luther has a marvelous take on Jesus message about John.  Luther sees a strange thing happening in God’s dealings with the Kings of Israel and how contrary to all propriety the lines of the ascension to the throne went to the youngest son.


Matthew 11:11,  there has not risen a greater among them that are born of women than John the Baptist, but that he who is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he: and this “who is but little” is no one but Christ. No one has ever been so low and little as Christ; and therefore he alone can say: “Learn from me, I am truly meek and lowly,” which no saint could ever have said, and no one could ever have claimed for himself the mastery in lowliness and meekness. They all remain scholars under this master. Thus also, when St. Paul says to the Corinthians: “Follow me,” he immediately adds the true master, and says: “Just as I have followed Christ,” so that he does not picture himself as Paul but Christ in himself and himself in Christ. Therefore Christ also has been raised, and has been made a king before all of his brethren; and we and all Christians are his brethren, as Psalm 45:7 says: “Thy God hath anointed thee,” that is, consecrated thee as king, “above thy fellows;” and therefore Solomon’s type has been fulfilled in him, yes, has not only been fulfilled, but he has also been made an example that we are to find the fundamentals of the Gospel truths typified everywhere, which is that, when Christ says: “He that shall humble himself, shall be exalted;” again: “If any man would be first, he shall be last of all.” And the Gospel is nothing more than the story of the little son of God and of his humbling, as St. Paul says, 1 Corinthians 2:2: “I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.”

Martin Luther – Concerning the interpretation of the Epistles and Gospels from the first Sunday in Advent to Epiphany, to Lord Albrecht, Duke of Mansfeld, of the year 1521. Together with a short instruction on what we are to seek and look for in the Gospels.