That the wise men came to Jerusalem and inquired after the newborn king signifies nothing else than that the heathen were enlightened through the Gospel, came into the Christian church and sought Christ. For Jerusalem is a figure of the Christian church, into which God’s people are gathered, which in German may be called, vision of peace, because in the Christian church peace is seen, that is, when all have a good conscience, and peaceful confidence of heart, who, being in the Christian church and being true Christians, have forgiveness of sins through the grace of God. 133. Now in this peaceful place, Herod the devourer of men, would reign at all times; for all the doctrines and works of men, have in them this vexatious evil, that they in their very nature mislead, oppress, and destroy the true Jerusalem, ensnaring good consciences and pious hearts, teaching them to trust in themselves and in their good works, thereby causing faith to perish, peace and a good conscience to be destroyed, while the rule of Herod with its great show and clamor and faithless works, alone remains. This is what our Gospel wishes to say, that thus Christ was born and sought after at the time of Herod, in the very city of his kingdom. For evangelical truth wages its whole warfare with the false holiness of Herod, and every time it renews the strife it finds Herods, who rule the people with their doctrines and human works, and these things are so for no other reason than that the truth condemns these doings of theirs and teaches the pure grace of God instead of works and pure faith instead of law, in order to rescue the people of God from the reign of Herod, and save them for the true Jerusalem. (Luther’s Church Postil, V. 1.1, #132-133, p. 371-372).
Posted in 2020 Church.