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; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
The setting takes place immediately upon return of the seventy disciples who had been sent by Christ, two by two, into every place He was about to come.
Christ, here, expresses gratitude to the Father that the revelation of the Kingdom has been hidden from the wise and understanding and revealed to babes.
Christ, here, is not distinguishing between those who have studied and those who know nothing and are infantile in their understanding.
This is not about mental capacity.
This is not an invitation to remain ignorant of the things of God as if God needs empty minds to do His work of revelation.
Babes, or little children, are those who understand they are utterly dependent upon others.
They are not wise in their own eyes.
Babes are those who humbly confess their nothingness.
And yet we might make another error in concluding that this feeling of helplessness is something that we work within ourselves.
Some may reason like this: “I cannot receive revelation of the Kingdom unless I become as a Babe, therefore I will endeavor to become nothing in my own eyes.”
Christ is not revealing a recipe for self-improvement.
This is made clear in verse 27: 27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
All things have been given the Son by the Father:
All authority over winds and waves; (Matt 8:23–27)
All authority over body and soul; (Matt 9:1–8)
All authority over life and death; (Matt 9:18, 19, 23–26)
Furthermore, the sinner’s inner self and his needs are known to God alone (Jer. 17:9, 10).
Before him every creature is laid bare (Heb. 4:13).
To really know a person means to be able to see him as the Father sees him.
Therefore, he who knows the Father knows the sinner and his needs as well.
It is the Son, the Son alone, who knows the Father.
It is the Son who therefore also knows the sinner and his needs.
Since the Son knows the Father he, he alone, is able to reveal him, and He does reveal him.
And nobody knows the Father unless the Son has revealed the Father to him.
Christ has been praising the Father for having revealed salvation to his humble children.
Jesus’ words demonstrate that the salvation of God’s children is dependent not upon anything in man but depend solely upon revelation.
This revelation is based solely upon the will and delight of both the Father and the Son.
From start to finish salvation is of the Lord.
Some of you may be aware that a minister of the PCA recently left the PCA for the Roman Catholic Church.
It broke my heart because I had known him for some time.
The responses to his apostasy were pastoral in some cases.
But there was also a sense in which the apostasy became a battle of propositions for many.
After all, the arguments from those going to Rome are always based on a selective and anachronistic reading of Church history to support the Magisterium’s claims.
It’s not as if we who defend the Reformed faith and Church history were left without plausible arguments to dispute with Roman Apologists.
Yet I fear that many lost sight of the reason that we know the Father and the Son.
Those who know me know that I take seriously the system of doctrine revealed in the Scriptures.
I’m a former Roman Catholic and cognizant of the gulf between our doctrines that strike at the vitals of religion.
Yet, in the end, we have to come back to the touchstone.
We are not Reformed because we have the best propositions.
We are not born again because we reasoned rightly.
We do not love the doctrines of grace, ultimately, because they are so logically coherent.
Beloved, in the final analysis, we know the Son and the Father because it was the will of the Son to reveal Himself to us.
In the Kingdom of this Age, the Kingdom of the Age to Come makes no sense.
We will be reviled.
We will be seen as foolish and backwater.
We will be viewed as unloving and out of step.
Yet return again to the moment that you first heard the Gospel rightly.
How heavy was the crushing load of sin.
We who once had no understanding of the weight of our idolatry suddenly felt the burden and condemnation of sin.
We who once had no care for the holiness of God understood the hot wrath and condemnation our sin deserved.
But then we saw Christ.
Our eyes were opened to see Him hanging on a Cross between heaven and earth with one hand touching our humanity and the other hand touching divinity.
With new ears, we heard of the agonizing cry of Christ as the full fury of the Father’s wrath was meted on the Son and He died for sin.
As we looked up and trusted in Christ we felt the crushing weight of our sin put to death on the Cross.
The penalty for sin and power of sin to enslave us was put to death in Him.
And as He rose again on the third day with an indestructible life, we saw and believed and so His indestructible life became ours.
Beloved, many of us are weighed down this day by the knowledge of our sins.
We have repeatedly disobeyed what God commands.
We have repeatedly failed to do what we know pleases our Father.
Who can understand this heart of mine?
I do the things I do not want and the things I want I do not do!
I know the facts.
I know the propositions and I find myself agreeing that I fall short.
But I need infinitely more than I find within me.
Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?!
Look up Christian.
Look outside yourself.
Hear the Savior as He creates in you what He commands:
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”