The Precious Treasure

“Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas."
LUKE 23:18
The Precious Treasure
That is the way things must go; that is how things have always gone and how they will always go. And this is the course and custom of the world: that the more precious is the treasure and blessing that God gives, the more hostile the world and devil are to it. Gold is the least of blessings; nevertheless, the devil cannot tolerate that it be used properly. Well-ordered authority and external peace are fine, beautiful gems; but the devil cannot tolerate them and so stirs up continual murder and bloodshed in the world, so that there is nothing in the world but murder upon murder. He cannot bear that human beings have a naturally beautiful body, and so the world is a den of robbery and thievery [of health and beauty]. But when it comes to the sublime gifts of God, such as the Holy Scriptures, the Gospel, the divine truth, Christ, and so forth—when this treasure, bringing righteousness and life, comes into the world, it will happen just as our text says: Barabbas will be set free; Christ will be crucified. Rather than leaving the truth uncondemned, they must sooner tolerate all devils.

From Sermons on the Gospel of John, Chapters 17-20 (Luther's Works 69:218)
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