92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace! (Jer 6:14)
In the book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament Jeremiah was speaking the Word of the Lord to the people of Israel. He was chastising them for not really following His ways. He talks about the priests who were preaching for money and were more concerned about their own wealth than the condition of the people of God. He said that it was the bad prophets who knew the people wanted peace, so they spoke “peace, peace”, even when they knew there was not peace, they just said it to make the people feel better. They thought if they said it enough the people would feel like there was peace.
So Luther is now comparing those priests to the priests that were selling the indulgences. He feels that they are just saying what they think the people want to hear, not what they need to hear. They think if they say that the indulgences are great and necessary often enough the people will believe it. In the time of Jeremiah it was nothing more than the word of a false prophet, there was not real peace from them. So Luther says that the forgiveness and salvation that the indulgence selling priests are speaking to the people about is only the words of a false priest and not really what the people needed. There is no real forgiveness to be found there.
So Luther felt that those who bought the indulgences were not going to know the true forgiveness of God. They are not going to feel the peace of forgiveness. Today there are some who claim to be speaking for God and they are giving people just what they want to hear. They too are often false prophets who speak peace where there is not peace! We need to avoid those people.
Jesus You are my Prophet, You speak the Word of the Lord to me every day. I know that Your word is true because I see the power of that word in my life. Fill me with the joy and the peace of Your forgiving love O Lord. Amen.