At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and He said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank You for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased You to do it this way. My Father has entrusted everything to Me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.”
Then when they were alone, He turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.”Luke 10:21-24
So what did you conclude about the positioning of this segment? Did you also note that Matthew attaches this same segment to the “Woe to you Chorazin . . .” etc. but as I said in an earlier Gem a few days ago, Matthew uses it in a different context. Only Luke has it in the context of the return of the 72 and connection to what follows. So we are left to puzzle whether Luke or Matthew has put it in the original setting. I can’t answer that question. To do so I will have to ask Jesus, Matthew or Luke. Some day I will, but you have to wait for the answer when I see you in heaven. Or you can ask Him or them yourself. It seems Luke and Matthew have used this segment in entirely different situations. So how did Jesus first mean it? Take careful note that both put the passage in the context of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom.(Matt 11:11-12) and Luke’s setting we are already familiar with. I personally think it is the gospel of the Kingdom that is being referred to here.
The thing that is hidden is the mystery of the Gospel yet again. It is in the context of the preaching of the gospel by the 12 and by the 72 later on, that the full importance of the redemptive work of God is seen more clearly. Yes, in this context we have a power encounter of the highest order. God’s Son, Messiah, Jesus has come to SEEK AND TO SAVE THE LOST. It was always to be; it was always the plan. This plan was even hidden in the Genesis 5 genealogy. God has hidden and masked His ultimate plan all over His universe. He has even hidden it in the constellations He set in place in the heavens. But I have not written about these things in the Gems yet. I have only covered them in the God’s Awesome Book seminar and in the Nuggets from the Word. God disclosed His ultimate plan to His prophets before hand. But the total picture in its entirety was even hidden from the messengers.
Here are just a few verses I have quickly clipped from E-Sword:
This fulfilled what God had spoken through the prophet: “I will speak to you in parables. I will explain things hidden since the creation of the world.”Matthew 13:35
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.Matthew 13:44
For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.Mark 4:22
But they didn’t understand any of this. The significance of His words was hidden from them, and they failed to grasp what He was talking about.Luke 18:34
How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.Luke 19:42
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.Romans 3:21
No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began.1 Corinthians 2:7
If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.2 Corinthians 4:3
This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when He told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and His great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.1 Peter 1:10-12
No wonder these things have been hidden. There are a number of reasons as to why the plan has been hidden.
- It has been determined to reveal it at the appointed time. That theme you can follow through Scripture and we have discussed that in the Gems on John’s gospel. God’s timing is perfect. There are many things that could not be revealed before the time came to do so.
- It is also likely that these things were hidden from the disciples themselves – the 12 and the 72. The twelve disciples haven’t got the full importance of God’s plan for salvation yet. So why would the 72 have a good grasp of it? Besides that, as we can see from the above, it is not necessarily that the full sense of the message is given to the messenger. The prophets of old didn’t fully understand the plan or the significance of what it was that they were saying or writing. The angels also longed to look into these things but the need for salvation is not something that is theirs to understand. But interestingly in verses 23 and 24 Jesus seems to indicate that the disciples know more than most. Ah, but which disciples? I think it is clear it is the twelve who are in focus here, when they were alone with Jesus and the others had gone. Clearly Jesus had been disclosing more to them than to the crowds and also more than to the 72. However there were three of them who knew more still: Peter, James and John who had frequently been with Jesus in special circumstances with only the three of them present. Bear in mind that one of these occasions had just happened on the Mount of Transfiguration a little before these events in focus now. They were a part of “those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”.
- The plan has also been hidden from those who are not ready or worthy for it to be revealed. Those who consider themselves wise and clever in their sight and proud of their abilities. To those sort of people Jesus chooses to cover over the truth or the meaning or depth of the message.
The next question we must ask ourselves (or someone) is why Jesus thanks the Father that He didn’t reveal these things?
I think after reading the text carefully that there are two clear reasons:
- For it is the wisdom of God that He has protected the message from human arrogance and carefully hidden it from those who are wise and clever in their own eyes. This message of the Kingdom tests the inner thoughts and hearts of those who hear it, to ensure that they are aligned with the message and doers of it and not just recipients who have heard it only. That is an ongoing theme which regularly surfaces in the Bible. I am sure you don’t need me to find all the verses for you.
- I think there is another inference seen in the text above. The fact is that the message is revealed to the childlike. This is something that has impressed me for years about the Word of God. The wonder of it all is its simplicity in the midst of the complexity. The Bible is deeper than anything you will find on earth. There is no book like the Bible found anywhere else. I stand by that comment in any company. The longer I dig into it the more I am convinced of the truth of that statement. However just stop and think about this fact for a moment. As I used to tell people in God’s Awesome Book seminars, the wonder of it all is the simplicity of the message of such a deep book. If it was Ian, an ex-high school teacher, who had conceived of this plan for mankind, at the end of it all there would be a test. Those passing the test would enter in and those failing the test would not be allowed to enter. But God’s message is so clear in its simplicity that an intellectually challenged person or someone of slower wit or a person who is more hands-on than intellectual can understand what is being said. When you hear His words and put them into practice you become convinced of the truth of it. Now that, in my opinion is brilliant and shows that this is from God. This has to be Good News for all people and not just the academic. This message is for anyone with the right heart. Now that has to be God-inspired.
While the hidden things don’t necessarily directly relate to what follows, i.e. the young man’s question and the parable of the Good Samaritan, there is however a link and we will investigate that in he next Gem. Remember again (and I can’t emphasize this too much) Luke is writing an ordered account. Get it?
We will investigate the link to what follows in the next Gem. You could do some preliminary looking if you wish to, or simply delay reading the next Gem until you are ready. I don’t mind, I will forge ahead with the text as usual. Remember I am doing this for me but just chose to do it live and post it on the internet in the hope that there might be something useful in it for you too. Clearly there are layers to the revelation the Bible discloses to us. It is up to you as to how deep you choose to go. As I said last Gem, your understanding of a thing is dependent upon the degree to which you are willing to ask the hard questions. But it is also dependent on the condition of your heart and whether you seek after His truth with all your heart. There is always more to find out. The depth of the Word of God is staggering.
Firstly I wish to re-use two quotes that I used the other day:
It is not at all incredible, that a book which has been so long in the possession of mankind should contain many truths as yet undiscovered.Bishop Butler
This is proof of the depth of the book of God and how it is layered in ever increasing depth as we understand it more. One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed.Leonard Ravenhill
In the light today’s Gem I would re-word Leonard Ravenhill’s comment as follows:
The wonder is that a simple soul can pick it up, read it and understand the depth of the message in their heart, soul and spirit.Ian Vail
It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.Mark Twain