If you are not shocked by the above words you have probably not understood them.
Because here is Jesus (Israel AD 0 - AD 33) - a great teacher I am sure you will agree - saying three things to shock any self-respecting Jerseyman.
- That his Father, Almighty God, had, at that time, hidden things from the wise and understanding. That means that Jesus' Father actually hides things from men and women.
- That the men and women from whom things were hidden were the wise and understanding, the clever and confident of the day.
- That his Father had revealed things to little children - yes, to the unwise and to those who lacked understanding. But principally to "little children" - to those who had not attained their majority and could not, therefore, hold property, enter into contracts, marry or vote. In other words, to those who didn’t count.
To top all this, Jesus thanks his Father that this is the case - and goes on to say that this is the Father's "gracious will". This carryies the implication that this system of hiding things and revealing them is part and parcel of the very nature of God Himself.
If so it may well still be applicable now - in 2012, in Jersey.
Taking the three shocking statements in reverse order, it seems (from 3) that things have been revealed, in particular, to those with no power, no possessions and no authority. When I think about that, I rather take to it. In a way it restores the balance in society between the “haves” (who have it all now) and “have-nots”. From 2, whilst it does seem counter-intuitive that the wise and understanding cannot "see" certain things. But, on reflection, the ability of an individual to "see" is so often seriously clouded by a person's willingness to see. And those least willing to see are those who think they “know”.
What about number 1 - the most shocking of the three? Almighty God, the Father, has hidden things from some men and women. There are many, many people who strongly support the teaching of Jesus Christ. Will they endorse this?
Today in Jersey many followers of Jesus Christ are trying to make things clear to everybody around - as best they can from the four gospels, those written records of the life and teaching of Jesus. .
But the fact remains that what Jesus himself referred to as “these things” are - and will remain hidden - from the wise and understanding.
Oh! One last thing for careful readers...... What are "these things”? Important question, isn't it? The most important of all! I’d like to know what’s hidden from me.
Matthew, a key follower of Jesus Christ, wrote the above words in his gospel in the second half of the First Century AD. He records the teaching of Jesus that immediately preceded this prayer of Jesus to His Father.
It was about judgment - about the need for all to U-turn towards Almighty God: “Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent........"Woe to you, Bethsaida"......."and you, Capernaum"........"I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you." (Matthew 11: 20-24)
Yes, maybe that has been hidden (AD 2012, Jersey) from the “wise and understanding”.......