71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
In Luke 17:2 Jesus stated that anyone who led believers astray would be better off dead. Luther applies that thought to these preachers as well concerning those who confused people about the worth of indulgences.
“Anathema and accursed” this is the curse that Luther wants to put on those who are leading people astray with teachings on indulgences. Getting them to trust in indulgences instead of the Grace of God. Trusting the words of these preachers rather than the word of God. In Luke 17 Jesus said, “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble.” Jesus was speaking to the disciples when He spoke these words. He wanted them to take very seriously their responsibility for the children of God. False teaching was always punishable in the bible with death. Luther was putting these indulgence preachers in the league of “false teachers”.
Church leaders have always carried a heavy burden when it comes to leading the people of God. They will be held accountable for how they lead whether good or bad. The shepherd will always be responsible for how he led the sheep and the pastor will be responsible for how he leads the people of his church.
Dear God help me as I help to lead Your people. Give me that extra measure of Your Spirit that I may lead according to Your Spirit and not by my own strength. Help me to always take the leadership of Your people as a humble servant that I may serve them even as I serve You. In Jesus name, Amen.