Friday, August 7, 2009

Sending God back to school


"We have the idea that God could not reign if he did not have wise and understanding people to help him. . . . [The wise and understanding] are always exerting themselves; they do things in the Christian church the way they want to themselves. Everything that God does they must improve, so that there is no poorer, more insignificant and despised disciple on earth than God; he must be everybody's pupil, everybody wants to be his teacher. . . . They are not satisfied with what God has done and instituted, they cannot let things be as they were ordained to be. . . . These are the real wiseacres, of whom Christ is speaking here, who always have to have and do something special in order that the people may say, 'Ah, our pastor or preacher is nothing; there's the real man, he'll get things done!' . . . Should God be so greatly pleased with these fellows who are all too smart and wise for him and are always wanting to send him back to school? . . . Things are in a fine state indeed when the egg wants to be wiser than the hen."

Martin Luther, preaching his last sermon, on Matthew 11:25-30, quoted in Luther's Works: Sermons I, pages 383-384.