A Glimpse of the Relationship between Jesus and His Father
Text: Matthew 11 : 20 - 30
In the short spontaneous prayer Jesus offered, we catch a glimpse of the lovely relationship that existed between Father and Son. Let us read once again this short prayer Jesus breathed to His Father. This time round, let us ponder each sentence meditatively.
“I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
that You have hidden these things from the wise
and prudent, and have revealed them to babes.
Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your
“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…”
Jesus had taught His disciples how to address God both as Father, and Lord of heaven and earth (Cf. Matthew 6:9; 7:11). He practiced what He taught with great consistence.
“That You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent…”
This was an obvious reference to the scribes and Pharisees who opposed Jesus and criticized His life and ministry. They had even resorted to bad-mouthing Him, accusing Him of being Beelzeboul, the prince of demons (Matthew 9:34).
The learned scribes and Pharisees despised virtually everybody who did not belong to their small circle of fellowship. Anyone who did not follow their teachings and adopt their practices were sneered at and condemned! They thought themselves “wise and prudent”. Yet for all their blustering, they could not fathom Jesus at all. They could not comprehend His teachings, nor appreciate His ministry of healing and exorcism.
“And have revealed them to babes…”
The “babes” Jesus spoke about were the humble beginners, His disciples for example. Though they did not go any of the theological schools run by the scribes they understood Jesus and His teachings far better than any of the religious leaders.
Spiritual insight and wisdom did not necessarily come from poring over dusty scrolls! While formal learning is not to be disparaged, the fact remains that ultimately, spiritual discernment comes as an act of enlightenment from God Himself!
“Even so, Father, for so it seemed good to You…”
We have a lovely word of appreciation and wonder in this text. Jesus took time to marvel at the work His Father was doing alongside. He was of course doing His part in teaching the multitudes. However, He was as conscious of the fact that His Father was working beside Him.
His Father’s role was to choose whom He would give enlightenment. And as the Father touched certain hearts and opened their understanding, so they comprehended what Jesus taught! This was something Jesus pondered over in love and wonder!
A TRUE PERCEPTION OF WHO JESUS IS
This spontaneous prayer of Jesus also shows us how deeply reflective He was. As Jesus ended this short prayer, He turned His attention to the multitudes once again.
“All things have been delivered to Me by My
Father, and no one knows the Son except the
Father. Nor does anyone know the Father
except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills
to reveal Him.”
1. Shrouded in Mystery
If the plain words of Jesus, and the mighty deeds He performed were not easily comprehended, how would these words ever be understood? Nevertheless they must be uttered. Of what value are such words, when they are shrouded in mystery?
a) The humble would seek wisdom
The “wise and prudent” would dismiss these words as unintelligible. The humble on the other hand would take the trouble to ask Jesus for a further word of explanation.
b) The truly wise would exercise humility
Who were the truly wise ones? These would recognize that they were limited in their knowledge. They would know that they stood before One who was truly profound. They would humble themselves and seek Jesus as His disciples.
2. Knowledge of God
Knowledge of God was something many sought, but few found. The scribes, Pharisees and others like the Herodians sought knowledge of God with their own devices, sometimes attempting to take the kingdom of heaven by storm. However all failed, because they had not taken into consideration this truth!
a) No bypassing Jesus
This was God’s ordained plan. All things had been delivered into the hands of Jesus. They could never obtain any meaningful knowledge of God outside relating to Jesus.
b) No bypassing the intricate relationship between Father and Son
This was the hidden truth that stumped and angered the Jews. They figured that there was a special relationship between God and Jesus, but they did not know the exact relationship until it was revealed here. But what Jesus declared was totally unacceptable to those who rejected Jesus!
c) No bypassing the doctrine of revelation
Jesus is the revealer of God. Without His work of revelation, no one could enter into a significant relationship with God! The role of Jesus was absolutely critical.