"The nice, envious person who is sad when another prospers, and would
gladly have one eye less if thereby his neighbor had none, is the product of
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 102.
"Here in this Gospel we see how the Lord comforts and imparts courage to His children whom He is about to leave behind Him, when they would come in fear and distress on account of His death or of their backsliding. We also notice what induced the evangelist John to use so many words that he indeed repeats one expression four times, which according to our thinking he might have epressed in fewer words."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 73f.
"An example is here given us, which we should diligently lay hold of and take to heart; if it went with us as it did in the time of the apostles, that we should be in suffering, anxiety and distress, we should also remember to be strong and to rejoice because Christ will rise again."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 75.
"Therefore we must also feel within us this 'a little while' as the dear disciples felt it, for this is written for our example and instruction, so that we may thereby be comforted and be made better. And we should use this as a familiar adage among ourselves; yes, we should feel and experience it, so that we might at all times say, God is at times near and at times He has vanished out of sight. At times I remember how the Word seems neither to move me nor to apply to me. It passes by; I give no heed to it. But to this 'a little while' we must give heed and pay attention, so that we may remain strong and steadfast. We will experience the same as the disciples."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 75f.
"And although we do at times depart from the Word, we should not therefore remain altogether away from it, but return again, for He makes good His Word. Even though man cannot believe it, God will nevertheless help him to believe it, and this He does without man's reason or free will and without man adding anything thereto."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 76.
"So very little does the free will and understanding of man know of the things pertaining to the salvation of the soul. These temporal things the free will can perceive and know, such as the cock crowing, which he can hear and his reason can also understand it; but when it is a question of understanding the work and Word of God, then human reason must give it up; it cannot make head or tail of it, although it pretends to understand a great deal about it. The gory thereof is too bright, the longer he beholds it the blinder he becomes."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 76f.
"We should take to heart and firmly hold fast to these words and keep them in mind when in sorrow and distress, that it will not last long, then we would also have more constant joy, for as Christ and His elect had their 'a little while,' so you and I and everyone will have his 'a little while.' Pilate and Herod will not crucify you, but in the same manner as the devil used them so he will also use your persecutors. Therefore when your trials come, you must not immediately think how you are to be delivered out of them. God will help you in due time. Only wait. It is only for a little while, He will not delay long."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 77.
[ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy] "This is spoken to all Christians, for every Christain must have temptations, trails, anxieties, adversities, sorrows, come what may. Therefore He mentions here no sorrow nor trial, He simply says they shall weep, lament, and be sorrowful, for the Christian has many persecutions. Some are suffering loss of goods; others there are whose character is suffering ignominy and scorn; some are drowned, others are burned; some are beheaded; one perishes in this manner, and another in that; it is therefore the lot of the Christian constantly to suffer misfortune, persecution, trials and adversity. This is the rod or fox tail with which they are punished. They dare not look for anything better as long as they are here. This is the court color by which the Christian is recognized,and if anyone wants to be a Christian, he dare not be ashamed of his court color or livery."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 79.
"Why does God do this and permit His own to be persecuted and hounded? In order to suppress and subdue the free will, so that it may not seek an expedient in their works; but rather become a fool in God's works and learn thereby to trust and depend upon God alone."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 79f.
[woman in travail] This parable of the woman is a strong and stubborn argument against free will, that it is entirely powerless and without strength in the things pertaining to the salvation of our souls. The Gospel shows very plainly that divine strength and grace are needed. Man's free will is entirely too weak and insignificant to accomplish anything here. But we have established our own orders and regulations instead of the Gospel and through these we want to free ourselves from sin, from death, from hell, and from all misfortune and finally be saved thereby. A great mistake."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 81.
[woman in travail] "The woman is here in such a state of mind that she is fearful of great danger, and yet she knows that the whole work lies in the hands of God; in Him she trusts; upon Him it is she depends; He also helps her and accomplishes the work, which the whole world could not do, and she thinks of nothing but the time that shall follow, when she shall again rejoice; and her heart feels and says, A dangerous hour is at hand, but afterwards it will be well. Courage and the heart press through all obstacles. Thus it will also be with you, when you are in sorrow and adversity, and when you become new creatures. Only quietly wait and permit God to work. He will accomplish everything without your assistance."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 81.
[woman in travail] ..."but wait thou patiently and permit God to do with you according to His will. He shall accomplish it; permit Him to work. We shall accomplish nothing ourselves, but at times we shall feel death and hell. This the ungodly shall also feel, but they do not believe that God is present in it and wants to help them. Just as the woman here accomplishes nothing, she only feels pain, distress and misery; but she cannot help herself out of this state."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 82.
John 16:20 - "Such people, however, do not understand divine things, they think they will suddenly enter death with Christ, whom they have never learned to know except in words. Thus was Peter also disposed, but he stood before Christ like a rabbit before one beating a drum. Notice, how the old Adam lacks courage when under the cross! The new man, however, can indeed persevere through grace."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., III, p. 85.
"In suffering pious persons have no aim of their own, but if it be God's
will they bear good fruit like the tree planted by streams of water; and that is
pleasing to God, and besides all presumption is condemned, all show and every
excuse however good they may be. But he who battles heroically will receive for
his suffering here joy, the eternal in place of the temporal. Of this Christ
says: 'Your joy will be turned into sorrow.'"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols.,
III, p. 86.