Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Matthew 11:26 (Holman) “Yes, Father, because this was Your good
His neighbors refused to accept God’s salvation plan, but Jesus acquiesced in the Father’s decision as to how people should be saved. The Son’s loved ones rejected it, but He acknowledged the Father’s prescribed way to save was best.
Christ’s words in our text beautifully echo His former words of praise. His mind is lingering a moment, extending His time of adoration and yielded-ness.
We know God is with us at all times, but special moments come, especially in our private times, when He seems extra near and dear. In these precious times, hasten not. Linger. Enjoy. Savor God. Samuel Chadwick well said, “Hurry is the death of prayer.” We cannot have our eyes on God and the clock at the same time.
Reflecting on His own words, Jesus more strongly assented to His support of Father’s will. The Son is fully, totally, 100% content with the prescribed plan.
Jesus is glad the Father made salvation by grace the only path to Heaven. We offer meager reasons as to why God did this, but the only adequate, ultimate explanation for grace being the only way to Heaven is, Father wanted it this way.
We don’t fully understand Father’s rationales in salvation by grace, but it is His choice. Thus we are okay with it. We know He will always love and do right.
God had every right to treat us, being rebels, any way He wished. He chose to condescend in love. His acts may baffle us, but are never unloving or wrong.
Even if we don’t understand the why of a deed, but know God allowed it, we should feel more secure it is best, than if we did a deed we felt we understood.
Our best conclusions can be wrong and biased. Jesus’ decisions are always loving and right, never hateful or mistaken. What pleases God ought to please us.
Maybe no sin we commit is worse than the evil of not trusting God as our Father. It makes us uneasy for anyone else, including God, to have the last word.
We grit our teeth, murmur, and complain. Some even blaspheme. By being forced to admit only God knows all the reasons for a given painful circumstance, we have to retreat from our pride. Humility is hard for us, but our Master set the example. He was self-effacing, willing to yield to God’s will without question.
What made the Father happy made the Son happy. Can we claim the same level of assent? When our path is lined with troubles, yielding to God’s will may be our most difficult challenge. God’s judgments are like a deep abyss (PS 36:6). We humbly accept them or plunge headlong into them to our own destruction.
In a former pastorate I experienced one of the saddest events of my life. A dear couple lost their infant. We all grieved, but through it all the parents stayed true, drew closer to Jesus, and were made sweeter. On the other hand, when I was a teenager, my godly, gifted Sunday School teacher walked away from God when his son died suddenly from a heart defect. I never saw my teacher in church again.
Contentment toward God, however bleak the day, is the best way to have a satisfied life. Sovereignty and providence harbor us. As long as we kick against God we will be miserable. On Damascus Road, Jesus pled with Saul, “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (AC 26:14). Goads were sharp sticks used to prod plow animals. The animal did right or suffered pain. Saul, fighting against God’s prodding, was suffering. We often do the same, causing our own distress.
Though His ways are hard to interpret, we must trust God as Father. Why a fisherman Peter, not a refined Nicodemus? Why us rather than Hottentots? Why do the wicked prosper while the righteous languish? Why do bad things happen to good people? We don’t know, but Father does. Though we may never conceive a reason, there are always, from God’s viewpoint, thousands of explanations for an event. On this we stand secure. God knows why. This should be enough for us.
Crushing events in life can leave the mind paralyzed. As time goes by, the numbness is often lessened by consequences which help us understand why pains came. We begin to see good and merciful reasons why God let hurt happen to us.
Acquiescence is these cases is good and right, but another scenario offers even better potential for pleasing God. We show our highest trust in God when days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, without ever seeing a logical explanation, an understandable reason, or any justifying cause whatsoever.
In these grievous times, when we don’t understand, yet bend to God’s will, we show real faith, and find richer reward than when we trust after we understand.
Matt. 11:27a “All things have been entrusted to Me by My Father.”
Son trusted Father. In return, Father trusted Son with “all things.” What things? All things necessary for salvation, things rejected by Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and by the wise and learned, but received by the childlike (11:25).
The Father entrusting to the Son “all things” regarding salvation does not in any way hint Jesus is inferior to the Father. Letting Christ administer the kingdom of salvation was a yielding by the Father to Jesus not as to a lesser God, but as to the Mediator whose blood shed on behalf of sinners made their salvation possible.
“Entrusted” was technically used for the transmission of Jewish tradition (MK 7:13; I C 15:3). Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees claimed their traditions had been transmitted to them from God through many hands and generations.
Jesus said He received directly from God. Christ knew all things not due to deduction or intelligence, but because He was One with Father who planned it all.
Being God of very God, Jesus has forever held all things in common with the Father. Father and Son have always shared divine sovereignty equally.
Thus Jesus is careful to say “all things” were entrusted, not revealed, to Him. From before the beginning, when the plan of salvation was decided on in eternity past, Jesus has known every detail of God’s ordained method of salvation.
How else could Jesus know Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida will be cursed, and be sure the pridefully wise and learned are excluded from the kingdom, while the humbly childlike are included? Jesus, entrusted by the Father with all things, is the One assigned to oversee and set in motion the mechanisms of salvation.
In this fact we find the key that unlocks the plan of salvation. The message the proud and self-sufficient reject, but the humble and childlike receive, is, Jesus alone holds everything the sinner must have to be saved. Don’t try to whittle this truth down or seek to explain it away. Jesus is the exclusive agent of salvation.
Jesus claimed to be sovereign over all the universe, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (MT 28:18). Jesus contended He was given authority over all flesh to be the giver of eternal life (JN 17:2). Christ asserted, the Father “has given all judgment to the Son” (JN 5:22).
Even surface study of the Bible lets us hear salvation’s plan loud and clear. No one can be saved apart from Jesus. All who believe in Jesus shall be saved.
In everything Jesus did, He was careful to give honor to the Father. In return, the Father honored the Son by requiring all to come to Jesus for salvation.
Jesus, the treasure chest of salvation, wants to open its contents to everyone. The Father put His all in Jesus’ hands. We too should put our all in Jesus’ hands.