Go Farther Than You Feel

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."
PSALM 14:1
Go Farther Than You Feel
These Magi here teach us the true faith. After they heard the sermon and the word of the prophet, they were not idle or slow to believe—and look at the obstacles and hindrance they faced! . . . Natural reason could in no way have held its own here. If they had not found the king as they had expected, they would have at once pouted and become arrogant and said: "The devil led me here. A king cannot have been born here since everything is so quiet and wretched. There is more shouting when a child is born to our shepherd, and a calving cow is more talked about than this king." See, reason and nature always do this; they go no farther than they can feel. If they no longer feel, they at once dare to deny God and say as the psalmist says of them: Here "there is no God" (Psalm 14 [:1]) . . .. The light of nature and the light of grace cannot be friends. Nature wants to perceive and be certain before it believes. Grace believes before it perceives. For this reason, nature does not go farther than her own light. Grace joyfully steps out into the darkness, follows the mere word of Scripture, no matter how it appears; whether nature holds it true or false, [grace] clings to the Word.

From the Church Postil, sermon for Epiphany on Matthew 2:1-12 (Luther's Works 76:102-3)
February 26
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