The Dream of Hans

Upon earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Erfurt, young Martin Luther was set to begin studies for his doctorate to eventually become a lawyer. His father Hans wanted his son to not only be a lawyer, but also to become a successful lawyer. This would mean that Martin would be able to take care of his parents when they were old.

Dr. R.C. Sproul explains that Luther seemed to encounter a crisis every five years. The first of these “crises” happened in 1505 when an event occurred in which Luther’s life would be irrevocably changed.

Following a visit with his family in Mansfield, Luther was returning to Erfurt. He encountered a violent thunderstorm. Lightning struck so close to him that he feared for his very life. At that moment, he cried out to St. Anne, the patron saint of miners and exclaimed, “Help me, St. Anne, and I will become a monk!”

St. Anne was supposedly the mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Superstition during Martin’s day taught that St. Anne would bring protection and prosperity to those who worked in the mines. This was Martin’s theological background.

As Pastor Erwin Lutzer explains, “And so it was—partly to fulfill this vow and, most assuredly, because of his own inner turmoil—that Luther went against his father’s wishes, left the university in Erfurt, and entered the Augustinian monastery in the same city.”

When physically entering the monastery, Martin was asked what he sought. He responded, “God’s grace and your mercy.” Martin would now begin a rigorous and disciplined regimen of living which he hoped would satisfy the longing in his soul. More than anything, Luther sought relief from the guilt he felt because of his sins.

What about you? What rigorous regimen have you pursued to satisfy the longing in your soul? Is it good works, community involvement and financial generosity? Or are you going with whatever works to silence the nagging conviction that you are not right with God.

Repent of your sin and receive Jesus Christ and his righteousness as your own. This is the only way to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) and to satisfy your soul’s longing for peace with God.

Have a blessed day. Soli deo Gloria!

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