Christogenea Europe - Martin Luther's Warning Against the Jews - October 19th, 2014

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This sermon will be read again with a fuller critique on an upcoming segment of our presentation of Martin Luther on the Jews now underway on Christogenea Saturdays. Of course, we cannot agree with Luther's assertions that the Jews are Israelites, and we have already offered in-depth refutations of that in our Luther series and elsewhere here at Christogenea.

A Warning Against the Jews

by Martin Luther,February, 1546

Translated by Wikisource and released into the Public Domain

Since I have been around awhile and have preached to you and, [since], I may die soon and not be able to preach to you [any longer], I will bless you with this. I have prayed that you remain diligently in the Word, which your preacher and pastor are teaching you truly by the grace of God and making you accustomed to the prayer that God would protect you from all the wise and clever that despise the doctrine of the Gospel; for they often did much harm and yet might do much more.

Worse than these, you have the Jews yet in the land, who do great harm. We want to deal with them in a Christian manner now. Offer them the Christian faith that they would accept the Messiah, who is even their cousin and has been born of their flesh and blood; and is rightly Abraham’s Seed, of which they boast. Even so, I am concerned [that] Jewish blood may no longer become diluted and impure.

First of all, you should propose to them that they be converted to the Messiah and allow themselves to be baptized, that one may see that this is a serious matter to them. If not, then we would not permit them [to live among us], for Christ commands us to be baptized and believe in Him. Even though we cannot now believe so strongly as we should, God is still patient with us.

Now, here is what the Jews do: daily they only blaspheme and dishonor our Lord Jesus Christ. Since they do this and we know it, we should not permit it. Should I permit anyone to be with me, who dishonors, blasphemes, and curses my Lord Christ, I make myself a partner in another’s sins [1 Timothy 5:22]. I have enough sins of my own; therefore, you who are lords should not permit them [to remain with us], but drive them away. However, if they are converted, abandon their usury, and receive Christ, then we will willingly regard them our brothers. Otherwise, nothing will come of it, for they go too far.

They are our public enemies. They do not stop blaspheming our Lord Christ, calling the Virgin Mary a whore, Christ, a bastard, and us changelings or abortions (Mahlkälber: "meal calves"). If they could kill us all, they would gladly do it. They do it often, especially those who pose as physicians—though sometimes they help—for the devil helps to finish it in the end. They can also practice medicine as in French Switzerland. They administer poison to someone from which he could die in an hour, a month, a year, ten or twenty years. They are able to practice this art. Therefore, do not be involved with them as with those who do nothing else among you than heinously blaspheme our dear Lord Jesus Christ and deprive us of body, life, honor, and goods.

Yet, we will show them Christian love and pray for them that they may be converted to receive the Lord, whom they should properly honor more than we. Whoever will not do this is no doubt a malicious Jew, who will not stop blaspheming Christ, draining you dry, and, if he can, killing [you].

Therefore, I beg that you do not make yourselves partners in another’s sin. You have enough to do to pray to God that he would be gracious to you and preserve your rule as I still pray daily and hide myself under the protection of the Son of God, whom I hold and honor as my Lord. To Him I must run and flee if the devil, sin, or other misfortune afflict me, for He is my protection as far as heaven and earth extend, and my mother hen, under whom I crawl before the wrath of God. Therefore I can have no fellowship or patience with the obstinate blasphemers and defamers of this dear Savior.

As a native [of Eisleben] I have wanted to say this to you as a final warning, that you do not become partners in another’s sins, for I intend it well and truly to both the lords and subjects. If the Jews would be converted and stop their blaspheming and whatever else they have done to us, then we will gladly forgive them. If not, then we should not tolerate or permit them to be with us.

[Original German text found in Weimar Ausgabe 51, 194-196, see also Luther's Works, Christopher Boyd Brown, ed., 75 vols., (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2010), 58:458-459].