27 January, 2017

Matthew 11:25-26—“… I thank Thee … that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent …”

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and the prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight (Matt. 11:25-26 KJV).


Rev. Herman Hoeksema

We note in this connection the following:

1.  That the Savior is speaking here of the fruit which He saw at that time upon His preaching and the performance of His miracles in Israel, indeed we read emphatically: “At that time,” Referring to the context to know what time is meant, we find that it was a time when a generation had arisen that refused to enter into the kingdom of heaven. They were like the children in the markets. When John came they played the flute and wanted him to dance. When John refused to dance they made the excuse that he had a devil, because he would not eat nor drink. When Jesus came they sang lamentations and wanted Him to weep along with them. Jesus refused to weep, but came eating and drinking, so they again made the excuse that He was a glutton and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. At the same time, it made absolutely no difference who preached the kingdom of heaven to them, they did not enter. That was the case with the inhabitants of Chorazin and Bethsaida, cities in which Jesus had performed most mighty works; that was also the case with Capernaum, which had been exalted to the heavens and in which Jesus had labored so often and so extensively. But there was also another generation, the generation of the spiritually powerful and mighty who, in Jesus’ time, stormed into the kingdom of heaven in the days of John the Baptist. That then was the result, the actual fruit of Jesus’ preaching. The ones who, according to the standard of this world are the wise and prudent did not receive Him, but rejected His preaching. The little children received the kingdom.

2.  In the second place, you must not fail to see that the Savior ascribes this two-fold fruit to the work of the Father. Not only that the children of the kingdom entered and understood its mysteries, but likewise the Savior ascribes directly to the Father that the wise and prudent did not understand and remained outside. The Lord had accompanied the labors and preaching of Jesus and the apostles with a revealing power, so that they received eyes to see and ears to hear, for who would be able to understand the mysteries of the kingdom except by God’s grace? But no less, the Father, Who indeed is Lord of heaven and earth and is the exalted sovereign over all, Who has mercy upon whom He will, causes a hidden power to work upon the wise and prudent. The Savior acknowledges this and in this His soul finds peace. And since it is exactly the wise and the prudent for whom the things of the kingdom were hidden, and exactly the children to whom they were revealed, the Savior thanks the Father for that, for exactly therein the Father is most highly glorified.

3.  That in all the foregoing the Savior refers back to the counsel of the Lord when He says: “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.” It was eternally God’s good pleasure to bring some to eternal life and to make the others vessels of wrath. And indeed all is well when the Father now also carries out His counsel in time, for the good pleasure of the Father must be realized in those who are saved and in those who are lost.

We conclude … that the Holy Scriptures emphatically contradict the presentation [that the preaching should be a general, well-meant offer of grace and salvation], and maintain that according to the Word of God the preaching can never be [such].



Rev. Herman Hoeksema

[Source: The Rock Whence We Are Hewn (RFPA, 2015), p. 390]

The Savior thanks the Father that according to his good pleasure, he has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent and revealed them to babes. The context shows very clearly that Jesus refers to the actual fruit of his preaching and labors until that moment, particularly in the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. He had preached the gospel of the kingdom to them. The result was that the wise and prudent had rejected it and the babes had received it with joy. How does the Lord explain that twofold result of his preaching? Does he say that God had been gracious to all through his preaching, but that the wise had rejected it? On the contrary, the Savior ascends to the heights of God’s good pleasure and explains that God accomplished his pleasure in those who believed. But God hid those things from the wise and the prudent, although the gospel had been preached to them as well as to the others (Matt. 11:25–26).



More to come! (DV)

No comments:

Post a Comment