Out of the mouth of babes:
“…and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:16, New King James).
A few weeks ago, I received an email with a book excerpt. I can’t remember what it was called or the authors name – sorry I can’t give them the credit they deserve! But the crux of it was on the state of the world without Jesus. What would the world be like if Jesus wasn’t born? The author said, there’d be no new testament. There would be no church, or not as we know it today – there wouldn’t be the church spires pointing skyward to remind us of our heavenly Father. There wouldn’t be the love, grace, mercy as we know it through our salvation in Jesus nor would we have access to the Holy Spirit. Now the author wrote it much more eloquently and creatively than I did – but none the less, it stuck with me.
At the dinner table, I asked Immanuel about his last day at school and remined him that the church nativity play was just around the corner. I commented on how blessed we are to have Christmas – because without Jesus we wouldn’t have Christmas and the celebrations connected to it. (And perhaps we would have different celebrations, but it wouldn’t be the same.)
“So, everyone who celebrates Christmas is a Christian – but they just don’t know it yet.” Those were my son’s musings. I agreed and could see he was right.
“Yep. They are blind and can’t see Jesus.”
“Being blind would be horrible.”
(Yes. Especially spiritually blind – I know what it’s like to be spiritually blind and I know what it is like to be able to see the truth of Jesus – and there is no way that I would ever want to go back to that darkness.)
“It would be horrible to be blind…” He repeated and I could see him thinking this through.
“Yes, it would be.” And I couldn’t agree more with the words that were coming out of his mouth. And he repeated it again – to accentuate the importance – that everyone who celebrates Christmas is Christian but they just do not know it yet… and I’ll add in – because their eyes have not been opened to Him – to Jesus yet. ‘Yet’ – I keep adding in ‘yet’ because at some point, I know it will happen – my hope rests in knowing it will happen but… for some, it just hasn’t happened yet – and when it does – there will be marvellous testimonies that point back to glory and greatness of God. This alone – fills my heart with excitement and joy and I wish I could come to know those stories… those stories that are being formed and waiting to come into being.
After Christmas, my son asked, “why doesn’t grandpa go to church?” I could see he was trying to make sense of his world, to work out why do we go to church when no one else in our immediate family does.
“… because Grandpa doesn’t believe in church or Jesus.”
“… But he knows it exists… he knows it exists… he knows it’s a thing.”
I didn’t really know how to answer this.
I mean, how do you explain to a ten-year-old that some people see the brokenness of broken people connected to the church and the world – and connect it back to God. The world’s brokenness combined with brokenness of people muddies the image of God. Thus, forcing people to deny the existence of God. But, it is probably more complicated than that – it always is. Especially when you add in spiritual warfare – and the devil is prone to come in, take, twist and hide by placing a veil over head to mask the truth – to keep us in darkness.
God’s word gives us knowledge and understanding into how the world operates from a spiritual perspective. It informs us on how people are blind to the truth and how people seek worldly wisdom, and the cross becomes a message of foolishness. God knows the truth of the world and how it operates – none of this is new to Him and He’s steps ahead of us all – and his word provides us with insight and understanding.
The Parable of the Sower
13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a]
16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:1-23 NIV)
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved it is the very power of God. As the scriptures say, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.’
So, where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. It is foolish to the Jews who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.
But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser that the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things that the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things that counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the scriptures say, ‘If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:18-31 NLT)
… So… I may not have all the answers to all the questions that my son throws at me – but I know, God’s word holds those answers. He knows those that are in the world and how they operate the world. His word gives us insight and understanding – and the means to combat it. I may not be able to remove the veil blocking people’s vision of the truth, nor can I change the heart of my own father. But God can. I can pray for those who are spiritually blind, for those that ‘celebrate Christmas but don’t know they’re Christian yet’. I can pray, show love, grace and kindness and God will do the rest. I can do my best to represent God and Jesus to those who see the message of the cross as foolishness – but I can’t do that on my own. I am not perfect – and will most likely slip-up especially when I am tired… and I still need Jesus and the Holy Spirit to teach and guide me in all I do. I still need God in all I do.
… In this season, we celebrate the gift and life of Jesus. And can be reminded of God’s promises and all He has done and accomplished in giving us Jesus; and all that is connected to him. Jesus is the best and greatest gift we could ever receive. It is not something we can buy instore or online. It was a gift that was freely given to us, that came at a great cost – from the giver’s perspective – and for one which I will be eternally grateful for.
Thank you for your word. Thank you for making your word flesh. Thank you that your word is a spiritual sword and we’re able to pierce the lies of the enemy. Thank you for giving us the best and most expensive, self-less Christmas gift – a true treasure. Thank you for Jesus’ grace, mercy, love and teachings. Thank you for the Holy Spirit – that we’re never alone and are guided by you and into truth. Your love for us is immense and unconditional and our love for you comes from all of our heart, mind, body and soul. Lord, we pray for the people of the world – for those that see the message of the cross as foolishness and for those who are spiritually blind to Jesus. Like Saul, I pray that they may have a life altering encounter with Jesus. Heal their blindness, enable them to see – enable them to see His greatness, your Greatness, your wonder and Glory and all the blessing you have waiting upon their lives. Give them a story; a testimony that only you could write – being the author and finisher of their faith. My love for you is immense and I want nothing more than others to experience what it is like to be in your light, and love. In Jesus name I pray, amen.
‘Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.’ (Psalm 119:18 ESV)
Dear reader, may your new year, 2021 be filled with God’s grace, peace and blessings.
Until next time, God willing, W.A.R on with praise and prayer.
Author: Elizabeth New
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