Martin Luther on Right Priorities

One of the products of our depraved nature is that in our ignorance and blindness we are much more inclined to serve men rather than God. Therefore, we should learn from this example of our dear Lord Jesus that if a situation arises where we must choose whether to be disobedient to God or to our parents, or those in authority, we must answer with Christ: “I must be about the business of my Father in heaven.” Other than in such a case, I will with all my heart, be obedient to father, mother, emperor, king, lord and lady of the house. But in this instance there is no other way than this: Dear father and mother, I have another Father to whom I owe greater esteem than to you. This is what Mary and Joseph had forgotten; therefore, he had to remind them and teach them.

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In this Gospel (Luke 2:41-52), our Lord Jesus Christ manifests himself not only for the sake of our faith and comfort, that he is our God and Savior, but also as example of how in those matters that pertain to God, no one should take precedence, be it father, mother, sovereign, or whatever. For there is another Lord, a higher authority, that says, “I am your God.” Him you should obey, do as he directs, and above all, serve. When you have fulfilled this obedience, then do what father, mother, sovereign, or government wish; but they may not hinder you in this higher obedience which, as said, must be carried out before anything else.

House Postil for Epiphany 1

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