Created by Lucas Cranach 
Further Contrasts in This Series
Christ is crowned with thorns, while the Pope is crowned with the triple tiara, the sign of his secular power, said to be inherited from Constantine.
Christ washes the feet of His disciples, while the Pope presents his foot for princes and kings to kiss.
Christ commanded paying authorities their due, (Matt. 15), a command repeated in Romans 13. The Pope claims exemption for all his followers. He orders the Interdict on those who follow Christ’s command by levying tax on clerical persons or their property.
Christ ministered to the poor and lame in humility, taking the form of a servant. The Pope considers it beneath his dignity to humble himself, believing that the humble man brings contempt upon his government. Such an argument is fit for fools, but the Pope must think the Germans fools, to try to rule over them as he does.
Christ was born of humble parents, in a stable. The Pope is armed, ready to wage war. Such are the lengths to which he will go to ensure clerical possession of his property – he is willing to spill Christian blood, overturning civil authority. Authorities who imprison clergy will find that the Pope releases their subjects from their oaths of obedience, allowing the defense of clerical goods with both the secular and spiritual swords.
Christ commanded His disciples go poor into the world. The Pope commands that no bishop should preside over no less than a great town, and he should be given sufficient provision, worthy title and great honor.
Christ reminded the murmuring Pharisees that the kingdom of God was not in externals, but within us. In keeping the laws of men, such as papal disciplinary laws, one may transgress the laws of God. The Pope sits on a throne, issuing laws wholly concerned with externals the ordering of clothes, tonsures, feast days, consecrations, benefices, monkish sects and priests. Yet the clergy call themselves and their property Christ’s Church, and regard themselves as the elect of God, as if the laity were not in the Church.
 FOR THE SAKE OF THE SIMPLE FOLK: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation, R. W. Scribner, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 150-55. “A Passional was a small picture book depicting scenes from the life of Christ or the saints for pious meditation by the unlearned.” (p. 149)
“As one of Martin Luther’s closest friends, the Saxon court painter
was close to the central ideas of the Reformation from its inception.”