Lesson 129- Did Jesus Call Me a Baby?
Scripture: Matthew 11:25-27
Lesson Goal: To better understand how the revelation and truth of God blinds some while it makes others to see.
Introduction: Today’s Scripture passage begins: “At that time.” It is important that we recognize and understand what is meant by these words. The phrase “at that time” refers us back to the rejection of Jesus by the cities of Galilee, namely Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. It would seem that these cities would see and understand Jesus as the Messiah. But in spite of Jesus’ ministry, teachings and works, they rejected Him. The blessing of geographical proximity did not help the belief of the people. In fact, instead of helping their belief, they had become childish in their complaining and unreasonableness to accept the truth (see Matthew 11:16-17).
(v. 25) In the midst of John’s disappointment, doubt and discouragement; in the midst of the local and logical cities’ rejection; and in the midst of the judgment that will come to those who reject, Jesus turns His attention to worship. “At that time,” Jesus worshipped and prayed. In His prayer we find the explanation for unbelief. Jesus’ prayer was an answer to the testimony of the problems of the people’s disobedience in rejecting Him.
At this time in Jesus’ ministry, His early popularity was diminishing. And the intensity of His opposition was gaining strength and momentum. During the remaining time of Jesus earthly ministry, He would make very clear that man will be confronted with the truth which He will either reject or accept. Please read Matthew 12:30 and Mark 9:40.
What are some of God’s graces in your life that brought you to the decision you have made concerning Jesus?
What is the reality of rejecting Jesus?
What is the reality of accepting Jesus?
The phrase “Jesus answered and said” means literally “to speak openly as opposed to privately or confidentially” (MacArthur).
“I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth”
“Thank You” also has the thought of “praise you” or “to give praise” (Rienecker).
“that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.”
We must understand that Jesus is not saying that God, with intent and purpose, has deliberately hidden the truth from the wise and prudent. But rather, because of their refusal and rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, the light of the truth has declared them blind. It is because of their self-righteousness and pride, so demonstrated by the religious rulers, scribes and Pharisees, that they have become blinded to the truth. Ultimately, and sadly, many considered themselves too righteous, too intellectual and too wise in their own eyes to need Jesus. It was in this self-elevation that the truths of God remain hidden from them.
“have revealed them to babes” Jesus is helping us to understand the blessed truth that as some reject Him, others will respond by accepting Him. In the midst of such a great opportunity, many reject Jesus because of their blindness to God’s plan, purpose and truth. But while there is great rejection because of unbelief, Jesus found great blessing in knowing other “babes” would respond to the opportunities.
The “babes” are those who the religious orthodoxy of Jesus’ day deemed as unfit. God, in His grace, would reveal His truth to the humble hearted. It would be the humble and common folks that would see the truth, and that truth would lead them to acceptance of Jesus Christ. However, the religious elite, the intellectual aristocrats, were blinded to the truth by their own self-righteousness which would lead them to reject Christ.
“God hides things from those who are wise in their own conceit and reveals them instead to those who will simply take Him at His word. It is the way God works” (Phillips).
How is it possible for knowledge to be a help to one person and a hindrance to another? Should knowledge simply be an end in itself?
How can knowledge and humility coexist in a believer’s heart?
Please explain the vast difference between knowledge and wisdom.
(vv. 26-27) “Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in your sight.”
“The Father reveals Himself to the Son, and the Son reveals Himself and the Father to those who are willing to come to the Son in faith” (Wiersbe). Please read John 14:7. It is in the plan and purpose of God that those who the religious world would label outsiders or misfits would become His followers, because of their childlike faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ. It is those who recognize their own spiritual depravity by the light of God’s truth who will be made to see. These would include tax collectors, fishermen, shepherds, harlots, lepers, and a bunch of good ole boys. (For a pretty good example, check out Jesus’ original disciples.) However, the light of the exact same truth reveals blindness in the Pharisees, scribes, religious leaders and the Jewish nation as a whole. Please read John 1:11-12, 12:37-40; Isaiah 57:15 and Luke 18:9-14.
It is the person who empties himself of all self-righteousness that can understand the true righteousness of Jesus. In order to understand the cleansing power of Jesus, we must understand the true filth that we are.
In the midst of rejection, Jesus prays and worships the Father. Following His prayer, Jesus offers an invitation. Next week we will focus on that invitation.
Can you be good enough to go to heaven?
Does your goodness determine your salvation?
If your good outweighs your bad, does that mean you will go to heaven?