Wednesday, 14 January 2015

A striking passage from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 11

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I turned to this section of the Bible after reading something in a draft version of the third volume of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, which the author L Jagi Lamplighter was kind enough to send me - and which is turning out to be a really remarkable and engrossing book.


20 Then began [Jesus] to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
25 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 prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

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This spoke to me across the centuries - speaking of the unrepentant 'cities' of modernity, who are aware of Jesus's mighty works yet they repent not: the situation of our age and place.

Then Jesus thanks his Father that "thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

And this gives me the hopeful perspective that no matter by how much the 'wise and prudent' the rulers of this world, are corrupted, unrepentant, advocates of evil - the 'babes' - the children, the simple minded, those who are for whatever reason (by extreme of age, simplicity, isolation) cut-off-from the upside-down, inside-out, back-to-front world of mass media propaganda - these naturally and spontaneously perceive Jesus and his mighty works, or perceive enough of them for salvation.

Then with "no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him" we are reminded that everything we know of God the Father comes by revelation from Jesus Christ - by revelations of the pre-mortal Jesus as the Old Testament God Jehovah; by the incarnate Jesus coming among us with his teachings; and because Jesus himself is the image of his Father. All these attested-to by the conviction, the witness of our hearts. 

And then perhaps the most comforting and hope-full words ever spoken in the history of the world:  

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

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This must be, because the gospel is for the likes of babes and sinners and the simple: it is for anyone and everyone.

As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1: 17-29:

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.

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