Martin Luther’s Visit to Rome
Martin Luther’s visit to Rome was one of the most disappointing episodes of his entire life. In this brief clip, R.C. Sproul takes us back to Luther’s moment of crisis on the “sacred steps.”
This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for this month only, you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.
500 years ago an obscure Augustinian monk from the monastery in Erfurt Germany had a crisis experience on this very spot. This is right across the street from the St. John Lateran Church and this portion of the building houses the Scala Sancta, that is the sacred steps which were part of the journey that Jesus made during his interrogation and trial under Pontius Pilate. Now in 1511, when Luther came here, like all the rest of the pilgrims, he had to ascend the staircase on his knees until he got to the top of the stairs. And in a wave of doubt, he stood up and said aloud, ‘who knows if it is true?’ Luther’s visit to Rome was one of the most disappointing episodes of his entire life. He was overwhelmed by the obvious presence of corruption among the clergy here in the city, and all the attempts that he had made to find peace with God through his work in the monastery were dashed in the smithereens with the disillusionment that the experienced here.