Every time we think of the Protestant Reformation, we think of the name Martin Luther. He has fascinated students of history for generations. Though the ideas of the Reformation did not start with him, he did so much to move it forward, and we could call him the “cornerstone.” Fortunately, there is a lot written about him, so that we can get to know him pretty well. This time in Kid’s Corner, we’ll look at some interesting facts about this remarkable servant of the Lord.
Martin the Trembler
Martin Luther showed amazing courage when he had to stand alone for God’s truth, but that might make us think he was naturally fearless. He was not. As we study his life, we see his strength came from God’s grace. When he was a boy at school, his schoolmasters did not show kindness to children, so he learned to be very afraid of them. His father sent him away to school, and sometimes he had to beg for food, and suffer bullying and rejection. But as Martin grew, he learned to fear offending God more than man, and this lesson would be extremely valuable in his battles when he became a reformer in Germany.
Martin the Scholar
It may not surprise you that Martin Luther read a lot. God gave him a very keen mind and the curiosity to ask questions. One author described him this way: “The strength of his understanding, the liveliness of his imagination, the excellence of his memory, soon carried him beyond all his schoolfellows.”*
“He often addressed questions to his [teachers] . . . and all that he read or heard remained constantly present to his mind; it was as if he had seen it himself.”*
God was preparing Martin Luther to be a reformer. That’s someone who turns things around to make them better. In his case, he wanted to turn people to the Bible. Sometimes, he had to challenge the most brilliant men and religious leaders of his time. He had to know the Bible very well to make it clear and simple for people to understand. He had to know the truth so that he could defend it.
Martin the Musician
Part of young Martin’s training included the fine arts. That means he learned to play musical instruments and sing. He played the flute and the lute, and had a fine singing voice. The Lord used his talent in music to greatly bless the church as it grew during the Reformation. Martin Luther believed that music was an important part of worship and he wrote hymns that are still popular in church today.
* These words come from a book called The Triumph of Truth by Jean Henry Merle D’Aubigné