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Luke 10 v 21. “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

Jesus told his disciples to rejoice because their names were written in Heaven. But this would hardly be a cause for rejoicing unless they understood the terrible alternative to Heaven. So it is with us too. Unless we see how lost we really are, we will not place the value we should upon our salvation. How are we ever to see the importance of these things?

Notice in v 21 that Jesus himself rejoices through the Holy Spirit. In this moment of joy what does Jesus say? He says in effect that while the Father has hidden these things from some, He has revealed them to others. That is how we know how great our salvation is. The Father reveals it to us.

But now, take a closer look at Jesus’ words. Who is the Father Jesus prays to? He is the Lord of heaven and earth. In other words He is the Sovereign creator of all things. And it is he who hides and reveals these great truths. But why does God hide from some and not from others? Is he unfair?

For an answer see who it is from whom he hides these things. It is the learned and the wise. Who are these people? They are the people who believe they have nothing to hear from Jesus. They know it all. They consider themselves wise and sophisticated and they see themselves as standing in no need whatever of Christ’s salvation. Those who will not learn will have nothing revealed to them; they will remain obstinate, close-minded and ignorant of Christ’s great salvation. Surely you know people like this? You can say nothing to them. They will not hear you. They consider themselves as people of the world, wise, knowledgeable and in no need of God whatsoever. These truths are hidden from them.

But now look at the people to whom salvation is revealed. They are “little children”. Of course our Lord is not referring to literal small children, but to those considered by the worldly wise as simple-minded and naïve. In other words those who felt they needed to hear the teaching of Christ, who had no sense of self-righteousness, and who saw themselves as standing in need of God’s mercy. To them these things are revealed.

Now, it is true that sometimes people start out as resistant to the Gospel but then because of God’s sovereign grace find themselves beginning to understand the message. It is true that even for those willing to hear, God has to do a revealing work so that they may understand. But the point is no one understands unless God reveals. Some with great privileges shut their eyes and ears against God’s truths. They get nothing. But those who accept the revelation – their names are written in Heaven. And they are the ones who know what it means to truly rejoice.