55. It is certainly the pope’s sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
Martin Luther again mentions the pope and his feelings on indulgences. One starts to wonder if Luther is stating what he hopes the pope would think about indulgences, but lacks certainty on what the pope actually does believe. Luther is still holding up the pope as the greatest authority of the church.
In this Thesis Martin seeks to state just how much greater the Gospel is than indulgences. He makes the point that the Holy Gospel is one hundred times more important. In the church the gospel was taking a back seat to the rulings of the church. The actions and words of the pope had become more important than the Word of forgiveness that our Lord gives in the Gospel.
What do the people really need? Not indulgences, but the faith that comes from hearing the Word of God. The power of faith in Jesus Christ and His life, death, and resurrection is so much greater that it is not worth being compared with what people could receive from indulgences.
In our churches today we sometimes let other things become more important than the good news of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.
Oh Holy Spirit, please guide my prayer today. Give me the assurance of Your presence and restore my complete trust in the good news of God’s salvation. In Jesus name. Amen.