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All Glory to God

Filed Under: Luther's Devotions

Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine others? They're
are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this
stranger.

Luke 17: 17, 18.

The stranger sincerely gives God all the glory. O, what a
terrible example is this! Among ten only one, and he among them was
the least and most worthless. How entirely does God overlook
that which is great, wise, spiritual and honorable! Yet such
people have no fear, but become hardened and petrified in their
nature. It is also terrible that the Lord knows that ten were
cleansed and yet they couldn't careless. He inquires after and seeks
them: Where are the nine? O, what a frightful thing it will
be when they at some future time will feel this inquiry and
must answer where they went, that they did not give God the
glory. Then they will say : Well, we have nevertheless praised
and thanked God, and thus our priests have taught us! Then
we will see whether it will help us to follow the teachings
of men in the name of God, and to forsake the teaching and
will of God. We are sufficiently warned in the gospel, so that
no excuse will help us if we allow ourselves to be deceived. In
Baptism we have all vowed to follow Christ and his teaching;
no one has vowed to follow the pope, the bishops and clergy.
Thus Christ has thoroughly rejected and forbidden the teachings
of men.

Christ comforts his poor Samaritans, who for his name's sake
must risk their lives with the priests and Jews, and strengthens
their hope with the sentence and judgment that he demands the
nine and judges them as God's thieves, who steal God's glory,
but he justifies the Samaritan. This hope gives them strong
courage, that their cause before God will be rightly maintained
and will stand, and that that of the others will be condemned,
it matters not how great they were and what power they had
on earth.

Before Christ justifies the Samaritan, he judges the nine, that
we should be sure not to hasten or desire revenge, but leave it
only to him, and go our way. For he himself is so careful to
defend the right and punish the wrong. Nor does he wait long
to have them accused before him, but of his own free will summons
them, so that without doubt the actions of unbelievers affects
him more and sooner than it strikes or harms us.

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