By Robert Halsey Pine
“I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants…” (Matthew 11:25-30 NRSV).
With this statement, Jesus takes the mysteries of God’s kingdom out of the reach of the wise. Infants better understand these mysteries. Those who try to understand God through their own wisdom are doomed to a superficial experience. We can over-intellectualize our relationship with God. We can get hung up on man’s creeds and on the little things that have become institutionalized.
When I was in college, I went on a double date to see the movie, “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” I remember being greatly moved as the story of Jesus unfolded on the screen. I was very annoyed, however, by the constant chatter back and forth by my date and my friend’s date. They spent the whole time picking the movie apart; making comments about insignificant details that they thought were portrayed “incorrectly.”
I was so moved by the story as it was laid before me, that I didn’t concern myself with little details that had no bearing on the real messages that God sent through Jesus. And most of all is His sacrifice and death for our sin, and His resurrection for our eternal life. Our dates that evening couldn’t have enjoyed the movie as much as I did. That night I was like an infant, able to see the love of God through Christ Jesus. Our “wise” dates saw a few minor discrepancies in the portrayal.
God is the one who gives us the ability to better understand our world and the universe. Unfortunately, that knowledge given by Him can keep us from understanding the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Our wisdom and knowledge of the world does not serve us well in matters of faith.
It is with the innocence of a child that we come to truly understand the mysteries of a loving and grace giving God and Father.
Father God, I pray for the heart, mind and faith of an infant, as I seek a closer relationship with You. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.