Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Faith Like a Child - Part 4

At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure."   -Matthew 11:25-26

I have to be honest. I don't ever remember reading this verse before a couple weeks ago. So, in my past readings of Matthew, I must have dismissed this verse for some reason, but now it stands out to me. First of all, like Psalm 8, we have the combination of heaven and earth mentioned. The spiritual (heavenly) realm is at work in our physical world (earth). The Kingdom of God is very much here and now.

I don't know how I could have just skimmed over this verse before. Let's see...we have the Messiah, the Savior of the world, praising the Father (in other words, the Triune God) because it was his pleasure (i.e. his desire) to make it so that only children understand some things!!! Um, that's pretty stinkin' amazing! We don't only get a glimpse into the truth about children and adults here, but also another picture of the nature of God himself. Make sure not to miss the point that some really important things have been hidden from the "wise" and only revealed to little children because that's the way he likes it!

Now, for the kicker...the context of this passage. What was Jesus talking about just before he said these words? Believe it or not, it was the judgment of God - the same divine and devastating judgment that was released on the ancient cities of Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon. Jesus unleashes harsh warnings on Korazin and Bethsaida. To be blunt, Jesus is saying, "You think you've seen consequences before; you ain't seen nothin' yet!" Then, he follows it up with this teaching about children only comprehending things that even the trained, educated, wise people don't get, which makes God happy.

I'm not pretending that I can make sense of all this (I’m sure a child could!), but I do know that it makes me wonder just how seriously I am taking the spiritual insights of the children around me. Children must be active participants in "church life" in the midst of an adult community that respects and appreciates and accepts their spiritual contribution to God's familyAfter all, according to this verse, they may know something we don't!


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