Thanksgiving – the yoke that gives rest.
Wednesday November 23, 2022
Jesus praises / thanks the Father for revealing the truth about God to infants and not the wise (in the world).
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.”
This is spoken by the Lord after the denunciation of the cities of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. In Luke’s account (Luk 10:17-20), the seventy disciples that Jesus had sent out had returned. The Lord had sent them out to preach that the kingdom of God was at hand and He gave them the ability to perform miracles so that people would listen and that their testimony would have authority.
Jesus fills us in. Several of the cities did not accept the testimony of the disciples nor of Jesus. And who were the rejectors?
Who rejected the truth? – the wise and intelligent.
For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, 28 and the base things of the world and the despised, God has chosen, the things that are not, that He might nullify the things that are, 29 that no man should boast before God. 30 But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, 31 that, just as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."
We must understand who are these wise, mighty, and noble. They are certainly not bearing those attributes in the spiritual realm. They are wise and mighty and noble according to the standards of fallen mankind and his very small, but prideful world.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures [evolution denounced eighteen hundred years before its birth].
They did not honor God though they saw God’s attributes clearly in the world all around them, and so they were unthankful.
The thankful know the Father, and the Son can reveal Him.
Though the heart of fallen man became foolish and dark, they professed to be wise. What is it called when you profess to be something you’re not? Pride, and in fact, plagiarism. Fallen man plagiarizes God.
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.”
The Lord doesn’t necessarily lodge a complaint against the wise and prudent, but rather recognizes that they are not those to whom His Father reveals His best things, and for this He thanks His Father.
But shouldn't the wise and intelligent be the best fitted for the revelation? Well, yes, if these revealed things lie in the same region as their wisdom - but they do not. No amount of philosophy, or reason, or skill in physical science is going to help in discovering the knowledge of God. The wisdom of the world contains things like self-protection, precaution, self-preservation, elevation above others, isolation, self-love, etc., and these specifically make mankind unfit for receiving what the Father has to reveal (think of how God is the opposite of these things). With all their energy of thought, they could never see the things of the Father as true, even though those things surround them everywhere. Their intelligence labors in the earthly things, and so fills their minds with their own questions and their own conclusions (our solutions come from Scripture, but so do our questions). But their questions are too small and their answers to them even smaller, being most insufficient even to natural questions. They cannot see the eternal foundations that God has laid in every man and the real necessity of their own soul, so they live on unfulfilled. Still, they are proud of finding out things, but the things they find are less than themselves. They gather by their senses rather than by faith. They love facts but not truth. Mankind is made in the image of God, not creatures.
Unfortunately, this happens amongst Christians. Some have a love of theology, biblical data, but they have no zeal for God. They do not allow the biblical data to do to them what it is designed for, to know and love God deeply and personally. Eternal life is knowing God.
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Jesus was thankful for the work and its purpose, which that the Father gave Him.
Such Christians are like the man asking “Who is my neighbor?” They would rather debate the issues theologically rather than to just go and do the commandments; the zeal of God overwhelming them into obedience. All the evil doctrines that debate unimportant issues come from the minds of the wise and intelligent, but not from the little children who can work out the parable of the two sons who were told by their father to go and work in the vineyard; one said he would go and didn’t, the other refused, felt bad about it later and went; to which Jesus asked, “Which one did the will of his father?” Philosophers stand outside. Doers enter in. When Jesus was about to give His body for the sins of the world, He broke bread and gave it to His disciples and told them, “Eat, for this is My body, which is given for you,” but before He broke the bread, He gave thanks to the Father. We must enter like little children and we will find that we are thankful for all that God has us do. It is a great compliment for Almighty God to give us His will.
Jesus says more:
At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. 26 "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. 27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
The babes are God’s own little ones who are not corrupted by the wisdom or the care of this world, and are therefore able to receive the revelation of the Father from the Son.
Jesus is the first recipient of these things and any of us will know them if the Son reveals them. But do not fear. His will is not random. It is the greatest of gifts to know the Father so as to love Him above all else, especially self. No one is to fear that there may be nothing they can do to enter into this sphere of the Trinity. We are to simply be babes. Believers who reject the corruption and wisdom of the world and listen to the revelation from Christ, and then, keep listening and put our heads under Jesus’ yoke.
The method that God has chosen to do this should make thanksgiving swell up within us.
No man is born with, nor develops any true knowledge of God. He can desire this knowledge, but he cannot in himself become God’s child; so the Father draws near to Him and sends forth His own Son in the man’s likeness, but who is also the exact image of the invisible God and who represents the Father perfectly. The gospel draws a person and, if the person says yes to the gospel by faith, he accepts the Son and receives Him. This one is born-again, and now as a child of God, can know the things freely given by God.
It’s just not convoluted enough for the philosopher. It’s too easy for the scientist or psychiatrist. The Son of the Father becomes the big brother of the believer and rouses the will of the Father in His little brother as He has it in Himself. As the younger hears and obeys, he begins to see that his elder brother must be the very image of the Father and he in turn becomes more and more a child.
We all must come to know that to know the Father is the one thing needful to every child of the Father. To see the Father is the cry of every child-heart that God has made.
Then the Lord, seemingly with His own heart overflowing with gratitude, and says, “Come all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The cry goes beyond those who actually want to know the Father and carries to the ends of the earth to all who are weary. These have not yet discovered that the ignorance of the Father is the cause of all their heavy burdens. The Lord Jesus promises to give them rest.
This is one of the Lord’s own presentation of the gospel, which is very intensely personal and direct. In it He casts a very wide net - all who are weary. But then when we come to Him, He promises to do something we don’t expect - put His yoke on us. It’s not a yoke that is like His. It is the very yoke that He is carrying.
It doesn’t mean that we take His cross. In that teaching, He said that we would carry our own cross. But His yoke is to do what He does and to be what He is - and to do that with Him, walking in step with Him, laboring with Him and sharing the load.
Before we recoil at the thought, and wonder how in the world that could give us rest, think of this reality. The Son of God conquers the universe, defeating all of God’s enemies, and He does so by taking the yoke that the Father gave Him, and then He tells us who come to Him to share it with Him. It would be like Neil Armstrong asking you to help him fly to the moon as his co-pilot.
A yoke is for drawing things, and what is the load we are pulling alongside the Lord? It is the will of the perfect Father. The Father honors the Son by giving Him His perfect will and the Son honors us by asking us to be His yoke-fellow; to draw the will of the Father by His side and to do so just as He does, with His encouragement, His intercession, His instruction, His love.
The commonest duties are done with our necks under this yoke. Doing the will of the Father in all things. This is the babe, not corrupted by the world, who has put his or her faith in the call of the gospel and then finds the darndest thing - the Son is the image of the Father and the Son has invited us to do the Father’s will as He does that we may learn of the Father first hand, by textbook (Scriptures), and by doing in obedience under the power of the Holy Spirit. And we are promised the greatest of gifts: to know the Father and find rest for our souls.
Jesus’ teaching lets us know that rest is impossible without taking our place under His yoke and truly coming to know the Father with Him right by our side.
For Christ, the will of the Father was His strength and joy. To Him it was the only thing worth living for. He was obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. It is not advancing in the wisdom of the world, but being a child in Christ, uncorrupted by the world.
When we give ourselves up to the Father as the Son gave Himself, we shall not only find our yoke easy and our burden light, but that they communicate ease and lightness to others, and the yoke actually removes our weariness and gives us rest from all weariness and burdens.
This upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas, let us make sure that we do not be corrupted by the world, but enjoy the yoke of the Lord in childlike faith.