Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wisdom vs. Child-like Faith (Matthew 11:25)

We read the words, “Jesus wept” twice in Scripture. John records one of those times, after the death of Lazarus. Jesus asked, “Where have you laid him?” (John 11:34) When they replied, “Come and see, Lord” (v. 34) Jesus wept. (v. 35) Matthew Henry wrote, “Jesus Christ was really and truly man, susceptible of the impressions of joy and grief. Christ gave this proof of his humanity in both senses of the word; that, as a man he could weep, and that as a merciful man before he gave proof of his divinity.” On the other occasion, our Lord wept for Jerusalem. Many people did not know the things that make for peace (Luke 19:41).

   In Matthew11:25 Jesus describes people who reject Him and miss the true peace only He can provide. They were (and still are) “the wise and understanding”. Some of those “wise and understanding” people were religious leaders when He was on Earth. They knew about God, but hated that He challenged their authority and schemed to arrange His crucifixion. They had no idea that the crucifixion has always been central to God’s plan to provide salvation. Today, people in their “wisdom” express doubt that God even exists. If He does, they think they can do quite well without Him. Their “wisdom” blinds them to the Gospel and the life that matters most—eternal life.

   Jesus declares that God has revealed “these things” (the message and activities of the kingdom of heaven) to “little children.” The chief priests and scribes confronted Jesus because children were crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” (Matthew 21:15) They asked, “Do you hear what these are saying?” (v. 16) He replied, “Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouths of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise.” (v. 16) Matthew recorded a conversation between our Lord and His disciples in which they asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18: 1) Jesus called a child to stand among them (v. 2) and replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (v. 3)

   Little children love to sing praises to God and are open to the Gospel. They lack the “wisdom” that produces and arrogant resistance to the Gospel. They learn to love many Bible personalities and narratives and are drawing toward faith in Jesus Christ.

    Please pray that people who are deceived by worldly wisdom will come to see the truth of the Gospel and embrace it in child-like faith. Remember that our Lord wept over those who lacked the peace He wanted them to have.  We should weep over those who lack the faith God has granted us in His grace and mercy and make the most of every opportunity we have to share the Gospel with them.

David Oldfather

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