34:1 The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah while King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the towns around it with a large army. This army consisted of troops from his own army and from the kingdoms and peoples of the lands under his dominion. 2This is what the Lord God of Israel told Jeremiah, “Go, speak to King Zedekiah of Judah. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord has said: “Take note! I am going to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will burn it down. 3You yourself will not escape his clutches but will certainly be captured and handed over to him. You must confront the king of Babylon face to face and answer to him personally. Then you must go to Babylon.”’ 4However, listen to the Lord’s message, King Zedekiah of Judah. This is what the Lord has said: ‘You will not die in battle or be executed. 5You will die a peaceful death. They will burn incense at your burial just as they did at the burial of your ancestors, the former kings who preceded you. They will mourn for you, saying, “Alas, master!” Indeed, you have my own word on this. I, the Lord, affirm it!’”
6The prophet Jeremiah told all these things to King Zedekiah of Judah in Jerusalem. 7He did this while the army of the king of Babylon was attacking Jerusalem and the cities of Lachish and Azekah. He was attacking these cities because they were the only fortified cities of Judah that were still holding out.
8The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to grant their slaves their freedom. 9Everyone was supposed to free their male and female Hebrew slaves. No one was supposed to keep a fellow Judean enslaved. 10All the people and their leaders had agreed to this. They had agreed to free their male and female slaves and not keep them enslaved any longer. They originally complied with the covenant and freed them. 11But later they changed their minds. They took back their male and female slaves that they had freed and forced them to be slaves again. 12The Lord’s message came to Jeremiah, 13“The Lord God of Israel has a message for you: ‘I made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt where they had been slaves. It stipulated, 14“Every seven years each of you must free any fellow Hebrews who have sold themselves to you. After they have served you for six years, you shall set them free.” But your ancestors did not obey me or pay any attention to me. 15Recently, however, you yourselves showed a change of heart and did what is pleasing to me. You granted your fellow countrymen their freedom, and you made a covenant to that effect in my presence in the house that I have claimed for my own. 16But then you turned right around and showed that you did not honor me. Each of you took back your male and female slaves, whom you had freed as they desired, and you forced them to be your slaves again. 17So I, the Lord, say: “You have not really obeyed me and granted freedom to your neighbor and fellow countryman. Therefore, I will grant you freedom, the freedom to die in war, or by starvation, or disease. I, the Lord, affirm it! I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to you. 18I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. I will make them like the calf they cut in two and passed between its pieces. I will do so because they did not keep the terms of the covenant they made in my presence. 19I will punish the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the court officials, the priests, and all the other people of the land who passed between the pieces of the calf. 20I will hand them over to their enemies who want to kill them. Their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals. 21I will also hand King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials over to their enemies who want to kill them. I will hand them over to the army of the king of Babylon, even though they have temporarily withdrawn from attacking you. 22For I, the Lord, affirm that I will soon give the order and bring them back to this city. They will fight against it and capture it and burn it down. I will also make the towns of Judah desolate so that there will be no one living in them.”’”(NET Bible)
14:1 For the music director, by David.
Fools say to themselves, “There is no God.”
They sin and commit evil deeds;
none of them does what is right.
2The Lord looks down from heaven at the human race,
to see if there is anyone who is wise and seeks God.
3Everyone rejects God;
they are all morally corrupt.
None of them does what is right,
not even one.
4All those who behave wickedly do not understand—
those who devour my people as if they were eating bread
and do not call out to the Lord.
5They are absolutely terrified,
for God defends the godly.
6You want to humiliate the oppressed,
even though the Lord is their shelter.
7I wish the deliverance of Israel would come from Zion!
When the Lord restores the well-being of his people,
may Jacob rejoice,
may Israel be happy!(NET Bible)
21:17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us gladly. 18The next day Paul went in with us to see James, and all the elders were there. 19When Paul had greeted them, he began to explain in detail what God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20When they heard this, they praised God. Then they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all ardent observers of the law. 21They have been informed about you—that you teach all the Jews now living among the Gentiles to abandon Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children or live according to our customs. 22What then should we do? They will no doubt hear that you have come. 23So do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow; 24take them and purify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, so that they may have their heads shaved. Then everyone will know there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself live in conformity with the law. 25But regarding the Gentiles who have believed, we have written a letter, having decided that they should avoid meat that has been sacrificed to idols and blood and what has been strangled and sexual immorality.” 26Then Paul took the men the next day, and after he had purified himself along with them, he went to the temple and gave notice of the completion of the days of purification, when the sacrifice would be offered for each of them. (NET Bible)
It was not only in connection with the Sacrament that Scripture was for Luther the absolute and uncorrupted authority. Throughout the following years he held to the same view. We shall cite a few examples … .
In the exposition of the Second Epistle of St. Peter, of the same year , is the statement: “Says Peter, what has been written and proclaimed in the Prophets has not been imagined nor invented by men, but holy and devout men have spoken it through the Holy Ghost.”
Between 1524 and 1526 Luther held his Praelectiones in prophetas minors. In these, in the exposition of Joel, he says: “ The prophets do not state what they imagined and thought good but what they had heard from God himself and what He, who had created all things, disclosed to them either through dreams or vision; this they reveal and display to us. Consequently they are true hearers
of God’s Word, for the eternal, almighty God, the Spirit of God governs their hearts and tongues.”
In the year 1526, commenting on Jeremiah 23, Luther wrote, “God’s Word is not for jesting. If you are not able to understand it, take off your hat before it.”
In his Declamationes in Genesin, of 1527, he emphasizes again and again: Even if we do not grasp the reason for what is written we honor the Holy Ghost and trust that he knows better.
Between 1530 and 1533 Luther preached on week- days on John 6 to 8. Here he repeatedly emphasized the thought that the Word of God is the touchstone (Prüfstein, Streichstein), the rule and plumbline, that tells us what should be preached and whether it is in agreement with God’s will and revelation. …
In Praelectio in Psalmum 45, of 1532, he asks, If one could attain to these [divine] things by his reason and senses, what need would there be for faith, what need for a Scripture that is given us from above through the Holy Ghost? … “In theology only one thing is necessary: that we hear and believe and conclude in our heart: God is truthful, however absurd what He says in his Word may seem to our reason.” (33–34)
–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures
This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.