12. The kings of the hosts will be friendly toward one another, and the adornment of the house will divide the spoil.
Scripture speaks of Christ as “Lord of hosts,” because His Christendom continuously wages war with the Gospel against the devil, the world, and the flesh. The kings of these hosts are the apostles, whom the world regards as poor servants; but in the sight of God they are great kings, for they are the ones who converted the whole world. Each one in his particular sphere of action led his army to Christ. These kings were of one mind. They loved one another, and they preached one and the same message of faith—all this in conformity with the Gospel. Therefore they bore so much fruit. But after the days of the apostles, the bishops soon lost this harmony. They dissented and preached various and sundry things. Finally the works and doctrines of men flourished instead of faith and the Gospel; this gave rise to discord and innumerable sects. Therefore these bishops cannot in good reason be termed kings of the hosts but weaklings and princes of the carnival. They are all sham and pretense, devoid of all earnestness and sincerity. Consequently, this verse cannot pertain to them but only to the apostles, whose concord in faith, in doctrine, in administration, and in life was perfect. It is true that several bishops followed in their footsteps, but at no time were these as much of one mind as the apostles. The Old Testament prophets were even less agreed. In view of all this it is not surprising that Holy Writ acclaims the apostles as miracles. By reason of their unanimity of mind they bore such rich fruit and converted the world, a feat that has never been equaled.
About Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost
Luther’s works, vol. 13:
Selected Psalms II