Similar to how Scripture had become buried and re-worked by 1517 (to benefit the authorities of the day and keep the powerful in control), so too had become the central figure of Christianity, Jesus the Christ. His words had become watered-down and His identity had become muted.
Now, it is important to add that it may not have always been blatant ill-intent of the church to limit the Gospel and minimize Jesus. However, the church structure and authority had become so intwined with the societal structure of Europe, that the church had to sacrifice, in many ways, its Eternal/Kingdom responsibilities in order to satiate its contemporary influence. (We will have to discuss this more later.)
While the church and state may not be so intertwined today, we find ourselves at a time where Jesus is watered down to meet our individual and denominational desires in ways that would have been unimaginable even by the church in Martin Luther’s day. I am not talking about the frequency of going to church, prayer, etc. (Which are topics for a different time.) What I am addressing here: how we view Jesus.
While we may appropriately and righteously have different viewpoints of Jesus, we must always challenge ourselves to see Him as He is. And the way we do that is by turning to Him in the Gospels, and taking Him at His word.