Rabbi Schneider - Why Is the Bible so Mysterious?
I want to begin today, beloved ones, by looking at the Book of Matthew, chapter number 11, verse number 25 and 26. This is just a short declaration, a short prayer of thanksgiving. Jesus said: I praise You, I praise You, Father, he said, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to the infants. Yes, Father, for this was pleasing in Your sight. So this is actually a window, get this now, into the heart of Jesus, as Jesus expresses a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father for thanking the Father that he gave revelation, get this now, to the simple and hid it from the wise and the prudent. Listen again. He 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 the infants. Yes, Father, for this was well-pleasing in Your sight.
There's several dynamics going on here that I think are often missed when people read this. First of all, beloved, I want to make kind of a confrontational, challenging statement here; confrontational only in the sense that it challenges many of our ways of thinking. But yet when we look at the Word and receive what it says, it will confront our way of thinking about things. Notice that Jesus said here that the Father's glory, get this now, was actually hidden by the Father's design from the wise and the prudent. In other words, Jesus thanked the Father that the Father, get this now saints, withheld the revelation of his glory, get it now, from the proud. And this actually brought Jesus joy because Jesus said, the Father rejects the proud. He resists the proud but draws near to the humble.
So listen again. Jesus says: I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden. Now, notice that Jesus is actually thanking the Father, get it now, from hiding revelation. Jesus said, have hidden these things. What things? The mysteries of the kingdom of God, the mystery of who Jesus was, the understanding of the parables, the understanding of his Word; that the Father didn't give insight into who Jesus was, the Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Prince of Glory; that the Father hid that from the wise and the prudent. In other words, when the wise and the prudent looked at Jesus they didn't see the Son of the Most High God. They didn't see the Father's only begotten Son. They didn't see the Master of the Universe through whom all creation was made through. When the wise and the prudent, beloved ones, looked at Jesus, you know what they saw? An ordinary man; because who he was, Jesus said, get it now, was hidden from them.
Look again at the verse. Look again at the verse. Because we like to think that God reveals himself equally to everybody, but you can't substantiate that based on the Word or based on even looking at the historical reality. In other words, some nations have received the Gospel. Other nations have never heard the Gospel. The Gospel has been preached all across America. It's being preached through other continents and other nations. And yet in certain parts of the world, hardly anybody has ever heard the Gospel preached. So how can we say that everybody is given the same amount of revelation? That's not true. This is why Jesus said to Peter, who do they say that I am? And Peter said, well some say that you're Elijah, some say that you're John the Baptist back from the dead. Jesus said, but who do you say that I am? And Peter said, thou art the Christ. Thou art the Anointed One. Thou art the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
You know what Jesus said after Peter said that? He said, blessed art thou, son of John, he said, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. In other words, Jesus said, Simon Bar-Jonah, you are blessed. You are blessed, Peter, because the reason that you know who I am, the reason that you know that I'm the Anointed One, that I'm the Messiah, that I'm the Christ, the reason you're able to perceive this is because the Father has blessed you with the revelation of it. It wasn't something that people could see on their own. It wasn't something that people could simply figure out by common sense. They could only perceive who Jesus was, listen now, by a gift of revelation. You see, revelation is a gift.
And so Jesus, in this section of Scripture that we're reading about here, he's filled with thanksgiving and joy that the Father saw fit to hide the revelation of the glory of Jesus from the proud, from the wise and the prudent. And instead, the Father revealed them to the babes, to the child-like, to the innocent, and to the humble. And this brought Jesus great joy. and so we're looking We're looking at the prayer life of Jesus today. I want you to hear this. We like to make God like a man. We like to make God just like us. You know, we have our standard of what we think is right and what we think is fair. But God doesn't operate the way we do.
Remember Jesus told the parable about the owner of a vineyard, a field. And he, and he, and he, and he called forth laborers to work in his, in his field. And some laborers showed up early in the morning, and these workers worked all the way from morning until the end of the day. Other workers showed up in the middle of the day and then they worked until the end of the day. Some workers showed up three hours before the day was over, and other workers showed up just an hour before the day was over. So some worked a full day, some worked a half of the day, some only worked about a quarter of the day, and some worked, beloved, only for an hour that day.
Now in our mind, we would think that each one would be paid according to how many hours they worked. But Jesus tells the parable, and in the parable he says that the Lord called all the workers forward to be paid at the very end of the day. And he began, beloved ones, by giving those that had worked only an hour, a full day's worth of wages. And then when the last ones came to get paid, and, and the bottom line of the parable is that Jesus paid the ones that had only worked an hour the same amount as he paid those that had worked the full day. And those that had worked the full day were so upset, they said, we worked the full day, this guy only worked an hour, and you paid him as much as you're paying us. It didn't seem fair.
But what did Father say to those parables that were upset in the parable? The Father said, listen, I paid you what I agreed to pay you. What is it to you if I want to be generous and pay this guy that only worked one hour the same amount that I paid you? In other words, the Father's standard of right is different than human beings' standard of right. And the Father's standard of fairness is different than our standard of fairness. This is what Paul deals with, beloved ones, in Romans, chapter 9. Paul said, it's not by the man that wills or the man that runs, but it's based on God that showeth mercy.
Paul goes on in Romans, 9-11, he says, what much of Israel sought for did not obtain, but the elect obtained it and the rest were hardened. Paul even said in Romans, 9, and you can look it up for yourself, because I know that when I share this, you know, if people are not used to being taught this way, a lot of times they'll just shut it out and reject it because it makes them uncomfortable, and it's difficult to have to deal with something and process something that's unfamiliar or is different than the way you've been taught. But beloved one, all I ask you to do is to look up what I tell you in the Word of God. And if it's in the Word of God, then recognize if you choose to reject it, you're not rejecting me, you're rejecting the Word.
So I just challenge you, check it out in the Word. So Paul tells us in Romans, 9, there, he says to us: Jacob have I loved, the Lord said, and Esau have I hated. See when Paul says that the Lord said, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated, Paul knows as soon as he says it in Romans, 9, that, that won't seem right to us. It won't seem fair to us that God would not create everybody the same, that he would not give everybody an equal chance. But Paul says as soon as he says that, you will say to me then, Paul says again, Jacob have I loved, and Esau have I hated. Paul says that you will say to me then that God's unjust. In other words, he knows that when the hearers hear that statement, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated, Paul knows that when the hearers hear it, they're gonna react to it and say it's unjust.
And Paul says, who are you, oh man, to answer back to God? Does not the potter have the right over the clay to make from one vessel, a vessel, from the same lump rather, to make from the same lump one vessel for honor and another vessel for common use or dishonor? And so once again, when we read through Romans, 9, we see the same concept, that God does not give the same amount of revelation to everybody. In other words, some people are raised in environments where the Gospel is being preached everywhere. Other people are raised in an environment where they might never hear the Gospel presented their whole life.
So Jesus is saying here, Father... Look again with me in the Book of Matthew, chapter 11, verse 25-26. Jesus says, Father, I praise You, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent. The Lord truly, listen now, he chose to hide it. Jesus didn't say that the Lord revealed it to the wise and the prudent, but that the wise and the prudent wouldn't receive it. But rather Jesus says, Father, I thank you that you hid it from them; that thou did hide these things from the wise and the prudent and have revealed them to the infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. And so we learn here a mystery as we're looking at the prayer life of Jesus; listen, that we need to walk with God on his terms. We need to get into alignment with God's mind and with his heart and stop stubbornly refusing that God become like a man and do it our way.
In our way we would say everybody gets the same revelation. Everybody gets the same opportunity to respond. But Jesus said, no, thank you, Father, that you hid it from the wise and the prudent and revealed that to the babes. Let's get into alignment with God. Jesus, beloved, saves God's elect. Jesus said, I know my sheep. My Father's given them to me. My Father's greater than all. And Jesus said in John, 6, no man comes to me unless the Father draws him. Jesus said, all that have heard and learned from the Father come to me. That's the same thing that Jesus is saying here. The Father is the one that gives the revelation. Remember Jesus said in John, 6, he said: All that have heard and learned from the Father, Jesus said, comes to me.
So who comes to Jesus? Those that, listen, have heard and learned from the Father, those that have received revelation, just like we saw that Peter did when Jesus said to him, Blessed art thou, Simon son of John, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to thee but my Father who is in heaven, right? Jesus said, I know my sheep. My Father's given them to me. And so we need to understand that Jesus has an elect people and if you believe in him today, beloved, it's because you're chosen, because you were chosen by the Father, in Ephesians, chapter 1, before the foundation of the world. Jesus said, you did not choose me but I chose you. Let's get into agreement with God. Let's stop insisting that he does it our way. Let's get into agreement with his Word. It might not make sense to you. It might not seem fair to you. But it's what the Word of God clearly teaches. Let's get into alignment with God.
I want you to know, if you truly love Jesus today, it's because you're one of the elect. The Bible tells us that even as God shows Israel out of all the nations of the earth in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, the Bible tells us in the Book of Romans, so too, there's a remnant chosen according to grace, not from among Jew or Israel only, but also from among the Gentiles and the Greek. And so, beloved one, I want you to know that if you love Jesus today, it's because he chose you, it's because the Father revealed himself to you, it's because the Father drew you to Jesus. It's a reason to get down on your knees, to give thanks. It's a reason, beloved, to be humble. And it's also a reason to know that it's your job to witness. It's not your job to determine whether someone will believe or not. Our job is simply to spread the Word. It's the Father's job to reveal the truth to people. It's the Father's job to draw people to himself. And so we just have to be obedient and preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Father then will take our witness and use it as he wills, Amen, and Amen, and Amen.
Beloved, another application that I like to see in this verse here where Jesus says thou has chosen to reveal these things, Jesus said, to the infants, to the babes. And one of the things that I really like about this is the concept here of how careful we have to be to be humble, beloved ones, to all people. In other words, the people that the world would not esteem, the people that are child-like, the people that are naive, particularly, I want to speak right now, because I think there's a prophetic application. Prophetically I think there's an application here that we need to be so sensitive and careful about the way we treat handicapped need to be so careful that we exercise such extreme sensitivity in showing those that suffer a handicap love and respect. Because we see here that the Father chose, beloved ones, the Father chose to reveal himself to the infants.
He's not talking here just about little babies. He's talking about people that are child-like in faith. He's talking about people that are without guile. He's talking about people, beloved ones, that are not walking in pride. He's talking about people that don't deem themselves intelligent but are simply relying on God and are humble enough and child-like enough in their heart to be able to relate to God. And this tells me that I need to be so careful how I treat people, especially, beloved, mentally handicapped people, or people that are suffering from other handicaps, because I consider these to be some of those that are closest to the heart of God, some of these that Jesus protects the most. And I think those that mistreat people that I'm calling here more child-like, Jesus is using the word infants, that if I would mistreat somebody in this, that I would reap judgment, beloved one, upon my own life.
So as we study today this prayer of Jesus, we've learned several things. Let's review today, beloved ones. First of all what we've learned is that God hides himself from some people and contrary he reveals himself to others. Isn't this what Jesus says? I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden, now look it up for yourself, Matthew, 11:25-26. It's not me, it's the Word, right? That's what Jesus said. He said, God, you hid it. So we see here that God hides himself from some. In this case Jesus said it was the wise and the prudent. And that he reveals himself to others. That Thou has hidden these things from the wise and the prudent, and have revealed them to the infants.
Now beloved ones, Paul speaks about this concept when he says, look amongst yourself at those that truly love God, Paul said. How many are there among you that are of the high-ranking in the world? How many, in other words, how many, how many high-ranking professionals are in your midst in your church that truly love God, I mean passionately? Now I know that there are high-ranking professionals, beloved, from all walks of life that truly love God. But Paul said, there's not many of those, but mostly God has chosen, Paul said, the foolish of the world to confound the wise and the prudent and the successful. You see, God chooses the lowly of the earth to turn over the entire table that is part of the world system. This is what Jesus is revealing to us here. So let no man look down on you because when Jesus returns the first are gonna be last and the last are gonna be first. The thing that gives you value is not how much money you have, not what your profession is, it's not how good looking you are. The thing that gives value, beloved, is knowing that you're precious and chosen of God.
And so we rejoice today with you, Father, that we are part of a humble kingdom; that Father, those, Father, that are humble before you are those that are gonna shine brightest in your kingdom; that we don't have to compete for first place, that we just have to humble ourself under your authority and become the servant of all. Jesus, you said let he that is the greatest among you become the servant of all. Thank you, Father, that this is the way of your kingdom, that you have a gentle and a humble heart, and Father, that you'll accept anybody that will come to you on your terms. Father, we say we love you today with a child-like love and a child-like faith in Jesus's name, that he would be glorified in our lives, Amen.