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Compare Martin Luther and Jesus - Essay Example

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Compare Martin Luther and Jesus

However, Luther and Jesus differ considerably in the context, goals, and methods of their respective positions, which results in diverse rhetoric between the “Gospel” and the “Appeal.” On the basis of these differences, one may make claims about the roles that the two men play in their respective societies. From the beginning of Luther’s appeal to the German upper-class, one is unavoidably struck by his extreme modesty—a necessary courtesy in his period. Classifying himself as a “poor” and “insignificant” individual, Luther attributes his desire to reform the Church to the will of God and not to his own personal “arrogance” or “perversity.” In spite of this modesty, Luther continues to claim significant weaknesses in the “three walls” of the Romanists, which stand for the three arguments that the Catholic Church presents in favor of their system of maintaining Church doctrine. Knowing that Luther is appealing to Germany’s most powerful people, and that he is being necessarily modest in doing so, it seems apparent that Luther is attempting to reform the religious institution (and its political extensions) from the inside. Undoubtedly, he sees a revolutionary approach to change as both unnecessary and as personally threatening; instead of taking Christianity and religion as such in a new direction, Luther still believes in the tenets of the Christian religion—but so strongly as to demand fundamental changes. The Gospel of Mark reveals no such modesty about Jesus, who knows he is the Son of the Lord. In Mark 8:27-33, Peter receives the revelation that Jesus is truly the Christ. Jesus tests his disciples for their belief in him as the true Christ. And, as the Son of God, Jesus is devoted to achieving fundamental changes to the ways of life of his people, both in a religious and political sense. Jesus proves to people, through his miracles in Mark 7:31-37, 8:1-10, and elsewhere of his ethos for speaking about deeply fundamental religious concepts. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus works on establishing this ethos, or credibility, while Luther seeks in his “Appeal” to both strengthen and undermine his own ethos at the same time: strengthening by admitting his own smallness in comparison to his audience, and undermining by emphasizing this smallness in the first place. Luther does not try to claim any special sort of revelation, such as the revelation that Jesus claims to have with respect to his knowledge of the world. Jesus, in contrast to Luther, is attempting to carve out an entirely new area of human life to preach to and from that to achieve a sinless world. Nevertheless, one should not forget that, like Jesus, Luther is attacking the establishment in a very harsh way. The Pope, Luther claims, is solely allowed the power of interpreting the Scriptures, which is a mistake of the “spiritual estate.” Since all Christians are truly of the spiritual estate, Luther believes, every one of them has the right to interpret Scriptures, and there are no differences among any of them. Accordingly, what Luther lacks in ethos, he makes up for in logical argument that appeals specifically to the educated and free-thinking social elites of his society. It is also noteworthy to see that Luther is appealing to the group of people who are on a more level playing field with the Pope that he himself is. ...Show more
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In the history of Christianity, Jesus Christ and Martin Luther stand as towering reformers of the established political and religious systems of their respective periods. Jesus sought to reform the injustices he saw in the conflicts arising out of clashes between different groups during his time…
Compare Martin Luther and Jesus
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