Luther Quote of the Day

Accordingly, all depends on this, that we have preachers, or teachers, and students who learn these things. We must pray to God to give us pastors such as He has hitherto given us, who teach this distinction clearly and rule by the light of the Word. For what is the world if it lacks this heavenly and spiritual light which we have from theology? The teaching of the jurists and physicians has its place, and it is excellent, necessary, and very profitable. But if all are given to these studies, where will that heavenly light remain when scholars and students of theology are lacking? Of what benefit are gold, silver, good health, and for that matter, this whole life if this lamp of the Word has become extinct? And yet it is now fostered by few, although it really has need of the diligence and interest of very many and although it is retained only with difficulty, for the devil and the world hate it. Thus Jacob is a star which shone in the house of Laban because of his knowledge and study of the Word, but we see how he is treated by Laban. But the whole world is in darkness and horrible blindness without this lamp. What is the pope, what is the Turk without this light? They are certainly rich, wise, and powerful, but because they are destitute of the light of life, they are most unfortunate.

Therefore let us study and carefully exercise ourselves in theology; let us preserve our schools and parishes, for this is the highest worship of God in the whole world. If things are bad, and if we must steal, let us steal in the name of the Lord! If it is necessary to take away from an ungrateful world by robbery the rewards owed to us, yes, our food and the things necessary for this life, it is the robbery and liberation of those things which belong to us. Let Laban and Nabal eat the rest; let him have a good year! We live on spoils which are nevertheless not spoils in the First Table, although the burghers and peasants think that they are giving us these things as though we were thieves and robbers. But let us not worry about these judgments but rather be satisfied with what Paul says in Phil. 2:15–16: “That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of life.” Let each one in his place be eager to advance the teaching and study of the Word for his own salvation and the glory of God and let him regard as a blessing those all too slender spoils by which God wants us to be supported in this life. For if the light of the Word is destroyed, then all will again be wrapped in the horrible darkness of the Turk or the pope or other heretics.

Luther’s works, vol. 6: Lectures on Genesis: Chapters 31-37 p 30-31


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