For the last two weeks at Radiant, we have been talking about Matthew 11 and 12. What amazing stuff in these two chapters. Jesus went out into the cities teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven. He demonstrated the Kingdom with power and the people were amazed. Amazed but unrepentant. Jesus was shocked. He scolded the towns of Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin for seeing and hearing and being unmoved.
Then the eyes of Jesus looked to the Father and said, "I praise thee O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight" Mt. 11:25,26.
What hit me so hard is that Jesus was working and preaching and declaring and healing all for the purpose of the people coming to repentance (getting their heart, head and life in alignment with the nature and will of God). Yet the Father was hiding, veiling and cloaking the revelatioin of Christ and the Kingdom from the majority of the people.
I could only imagine myself in Jesus shoes saying something like this."Hey Father- I am here on this earth at your bidding and doing whatever You tell me to do. Why are You working against me as I am trying to download the truth to the people of these towns?"
Jesus on the other hand begins to praise God for who He is and for His ways. The Father loves to unveil the truth about Jesus and His kingdom to the child-lilke, those still seeking for answers, the humble, the broken and the surrendered. To those who are wise in themselves and self-suffiecient with their great learining- God has ordained that His truth remains hidden. Remember that God is one who desires all to come to repentance and to find salvation in Christ. Despite God's great passion for this, the condition of our hearts either align us or exempts us from such life-changing encounters.
Isaiah captured this thought from God's heart when the prophet quotes God "But to this one will I look, to him who is humble and contrite of sprit, and who trembles at My word." Is.66:2b
God's mercy leads us to repentance but we have our part in the process. The Holy Spirit has been released and He is working to bring conviction about our heart condition. Our response to the Holy Spirit is critical. We need to listen and be moved by Him to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God for in that place the Father pours out His grace.
In Matthew Chapter 12 the saga continues as Jesus ministers and tells the people in word and deed that something greater is here. Something greater than the temple, demons, Jonah the prophet, Solomen the king, and HIs own natural family was in their midst. Something greater because Jesus the Son of Man, Son of God and His Kingdom had come. For the most part, like the people in the towns where He ministered, they missed what was right in front of them. The Kingdom had come and they could not discern it for it was hidden from them.
Something greater is here in our midst- Jesus and His Kingdom has come. Can you discern it? We have been told to set our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our fatih. We have been told to seek first the kingdom of God. By doing so we have also been invited to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Unveiled to the humble, the seeking, the repentant of heart. Revealed to those who approach Him in surrender and in faith.
The end of Matthew 11 provides one of the greatest invitations given by Jesus. "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me ..." This three fold invitation is to be a life style not a one time event. Come and keep coming to Me, yoke and remain yoked with Me, learn and continuously learn from Me. Let us be fervent and intentional about answering this invitatioin for something greater is here - Jesus and His Kingdom.