Attempting to handle life on our own burdens and wearies the soul. “I got this” often is our motto. We have been self-deceived into thinking we can right our sinking ships and handle the overwhelming flood of life in our own strength. Instead of accepting the loving care of the heavenly Father, we blindly grasp at man-made solutions for infinitely complex problems. Broken marriages, severed families, angry neighbors, stressful jobs, malfunctioning vehicles, financial pressure, appliance failure all represent they symptoms of life in a broken world. Jesus describes what needs to happen in order for us to come to a point of restful trust within the chaos of a sinful planet.
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, for such was your gracious will. – Matthew 11:25-26 (ESV)
The cure is found in the Father’s gracious disclosure
Working on cars is not a fun thing for most of us. All the parts are confusing and the knowledge we bring to the task severely limited. Amateurs might work for hours on a project before finally giving up and bringing the vehicle to the mechanic – who fixes the problem in less than an hour.
Man attempts to fix the problem of sin. Good works, ritualistic religious exercises, and social justice are some of the attempts man makes. The Jews elevated the law by expanding the applications ad infinitum. Thinking the law of dos and don’ts would be their salvation, they strictly adhered to the rules and denounced all who failed to abide by the letter of the law.
Jesus thanks God that the truth of the Messiah and the kingdom of God is hidden from those pursuing acceptance with God through human means of wisdom and understanding. The Lord of heaven and earth locks the vault of salvation to those seeking justification by works and applying human wisdom to the problem of evil and sin. The problem surpasses man’s ability to solve and God refuses to allow a solution apart from His revelation.
Ignoring revelation plunged humanity into the depths of sin and evil that we face today. How can we think that continuing to ignore revelation will get humanity out of the depths? God locks us in so that the only valid means of escape becomes visible – the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus expresses gratitude to the Father for arranging the gospel like this. Later in the epistles we discover the reason God prohibits human ingenuity from discovering the way of salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:31 concludes Paul’s argument setting forth God’s purpose to use the weak and foolish things of this world with these words, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” In Ephesians 2:8-9 Paul writes that our salvation is “not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” The setting aside of human wisdom to gain salvation exalts the Father to the highest place of preeminence and guarantees that He alone receives the glory for salvation! It is all to the praise of His glory! Jesus captures this in the last statement.
What great comfort this ministers to the soul who rests in Christ! You arrived at the place of refuge because of the gracious will of your heavenly Father. Allowing that truth to bear fruit in your soul frees you from any pride associated with your lofty position of union with Christ. You possess no greater qualities than anyone else around you. You hold no greater value than the most reprehensible sinner. Your only point of distinction from those rejecting the Messiah, rejecting salvation, is the gracious choice of the Father. You came to Christ as a child and in that same childlike faith and trust you must grow into Christ-like maturity. Follow the example of Christ and thank the Father that He reveals the truth only to those who willingly trust in Him and removes any possibility for boasting from the wise and understanding of this world. At the appearance of Jesus Christ, God will reveal their folly and cut short the loud boasts of their tongues!
Perhaps you are working desperately to figure how you can earn acceptance with God. Doing so shuts you out of the kingdom. The best of your good works amount only to dirty rags. The debt owed to God surpasses quantifiable sums. You sinned against the infinitely holy and pure God of heaven. The debt you carry is infinite. Christ alone paid that for you and you must fall back on the foolishness of cross for any hope of salvation! Cease striving against the vault of God! You will never break through. You must go through the one Door, Jesus Christ, the Door provided by God and opened only by the Father.