Monday, November 08, 2010

Too Smart?

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

25 Ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρῷ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν· ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, πάτερ, κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅτι ἔκρυψας ταῦτα ἀπὸ σοφῶν καὶ συνετῶν καὶ ἀπεκάλυψας αὐτὰ νηπίοις·

Here Jesus is talking about how the people reacted to John the Baptist.  He notes how they are not satisfied with anything.  They think John is demon-possessed because he doesn't eat or drink like they do and lives an ascetic life.  They think Jesus is a glutton and a drunkard because He does eat and drink like they do and they think that a religious leader should be more restrained.  He then explains how John came to prepare the way for Him.

This verse is particularly poignant for me.  There was a time when I was sure that I was too smart to believe in God.  I figured that religion was just an emotional crutch for the weak.  It was invented to keep people in line.  After all, they needed something to hold on to and they weren't smart enough to see the folly of believing in an invisible God with no proof.  Of course, I have since changed my mind, but that's where I was in high school.

Jesus prays a remarkable prayer here.  He thanks the Father for hiding Himself from the wise of the world and revealing Himself to the νηπίοις.  That word refers to children that would be my son's age (3) or even younger.  Think toddlers.  I'm not sure that He means literally to the toddlers, but given the contrast and based on some other verses I think He means that those who would accept the gospel with a simple faith.

This of course is folly to the wise of our time just like it was 2000 years ago.  It's also folly to folks who say that the gospel is more than just good news.  At its heart that's all it is.  It is the good news that Jesus Christ came to earth fully God and fully man, lived a sinless life, and died as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.  We need to accept the gift.  Are you going to accept it or reject it?

1 comment:

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

I accept it!

Amen, very good post and thoughts, brother!

I especially like your description of the "high school" version of what Christianity is.

People who hold to that view of Christianity either outgrow it like you did, or they outgrow Christ (an impossibility, but that's what they think they're doing) because they don't want to keep hanging out with their childhood friends.

Sometimes the people who brought us up and with whom we were brought up are just not good enough for us, and we seek others.

Too late, then, when someday we find out the old friends and the family were really best, but they're all gone now.

And we come to the horrid realisation that "you can't go home."

What a Friend we have in Jesus!