Good morning, happy Wednesday, and many blessings.
Are we reading Matthew 11:25-27 right? Is it actually true that God "gives" these things to some; but intends for others NOT to receive a clear picture of the mysteries of His kingdom, lest they hear and believe and turn to repentance?
Do you notice that God - if I may dare to use this word - 'discriminates'? He doesn't treat all people equally. There are some to whom He reveals truth; and there are others to whom He hides it.
I was reading a passage of Scripture the other day that truly surprised me. It's an amazing thing to think about. It's found in the fourth chapter of Mark's Gospel. Jesus had just finished teaching the multitudes that had gathered around Him in a parable. When He had finished teaching, and He was alone with His disciples gathered around Him, they asked Him about the parable. Others didn't seem to understand the things He was saying in it; and so, they asked Him about it. And before He explained the parable to them, He said, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables…
Now I would hasten to stress two things in this. First, God is never unjust in hiding His truth from some and revealing it to others. The fact is that, as fallen creatures in Adam, none of us would ever understand any of the truths of His kingdom in a saving way unless He had first taken the initiative to reveal them to us; and He is obligated to reveal saving truth to no one! If He reveals saving truth at all, it is as an act of His grace; and never because He is obligated to do so. If it has been revealed to us, and we believe, then our response should be to thank Him and praise Him for showing such grace to anyone at all - and especially to us!
And second, the Bible always holds unbelieving men and women responsible for their unbelief. This is a mystery - how those two things fit together: but it's true. Jesus told the Jewish leaders who opposed Him about how the Father had testified of Him; and said, "But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe" (John 5:38).
What Jesus says is this: “If you want to see what God is like, if you want to see the mind of God, the heart of God, the nature of God, if you want to see God’s whole attitude to people–look at me!” It is the Christian conviction that in Jesus Christ alone we see what God is like; and it is also the Christian conviction that Jesus can give that knowledge to anyone who is humble enough and trustful enough to receive it.
But there is also another radical reality to feel, see, and think about God. If we were created in his image and likeness then creation not only allows me to know God, it also allows me to see in what conditions God is. In other words, seeing my brother and sisters hungry or living on the street allows me to know God who was abandoned and betrayed by our social, political and economic structures.
That despair, starvation, and helplessness allows me to know the marginalized God, the God of the oppressed people. It is here that I understands that I see God every day, I hear God every day, I feel God every day, but I ignore those socio-mystical experiences. Why?