Ulrich Zwingli: The Swiss Reformation | Episode 20 | Lineage

Around the same time that Luther was born
in a miner’s cabin up in Germany, Zwingli was born here in Switzerland,
in a herdsman’s cottage high up in the Alps. You see, the leading reformers of that time
were men of humble rank who most of all, were free from pride of rank
and from the influence of bigotry and priesthood. His father desired for him an education, and at the age
of 13 he was sent to the city of Bern to receive one. But whilst he was there, another danger would arise. Because of his intellect, his sharp mind, and his
leadership qualities, the monks desired to recruit him. While Luther had gone down that path,
he had no desire to go down that path. Neither did his father, and so his father
called for him to return home. [music] Zwingli started his ministry in Basel and was ministering
around the same time as Luther was, though they were not in communication with each other. God was using each of them individually. ‘If Luther preaches Christ,’ said the Swiss reformer,
‘He does what I am doing. ‘Those whom he has brought to Christ
are more numerous than those whom I have led. ‘But this matters not. I bear no other name than that of
Christ, whose soldier I am, and who alone is my Chief. ‘Never has one single word being written
by me to Luther nor by Luther to me. And why? ‘That it might be shown how much
the Spirit of God is in unison with itself, ‘since both of us, without any collusion,
teach the doctrine of Christ with such uniformity.’ [music] Zwingli was soon called to minister here in Zurich at the
cathedral, where he faithfully preached God’s Word, repelled the sale of indulgences, and spearheaded
the Swiss Reformation in the early 16th century. The Church of Rome made several attempts
to either end his life or oppose his teachings. When hearing of one particular plot, he replied, ‘Let them come on; I fear them as the beetling cliff
fears the waves that thunder at its feet.’ Realizing how little had been gained by trying
to suppress Luther’s teachings over in Germany, they endeavored to enter into a disputation with Zwingli. The Council of the Zurich, though, forbade him to go. And so instead, two of his students went in his place. There they met a host of prelates, doctors,
and the champion of Rome, Doctor Eck. Each night though, Zwingli’s students
would sneak letters from the city out, and then at night Zwingli would write letters
that would be snuck back into the city, and though he wasn’t there, he was able to direct
the proceedings that took place. He famously said during that trial,
‘Custom has no force in our Switzerland unless it be according to the Constitution;
now, in matters of faith, the Bible is our Constitution.’ [music] The contrast between the two sides made a clear
impression on those who were watching at the time. Zwingli continued to faithfully preach God’s Word here in
Zurich, Switzerland throughout the rest of his life. God had chosen a humble man from humble origins to
begin what would be a great work here in Switzerland. [music] No matter who you are or where you come from,
know that God is able to do great things through you. Whether your beginnings in life have been humble
and modest, know God is able to use you mightily. Whether you’re educated or uneducated,
know that God is able to use you. Here in Switzerland,
Zwingli was a man of very humble background, being born in a herdsman’s cottage up in the Alps, and yet he was used to start a mighty work
of reformation here in Switzerland. In 2 Corinthians 12 and verse 9 the Bible says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ God specializes in doing great things
through the weakest vessels.


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