Christ’s next action is somewhat remarkable, but provides one of the most glorious passages in all the Word of God.  There are many things we frail humans might have imagined the Lord of glory would do after denouncing these fearful woes against the unbelieving cities.  Yet, I venture few of us would have imagined that He would follow this up by offering a prayer of thanksgiving towards heaven.  In this prayer, we will see both sovereign election, and then an invitation of sovereign mercy.

Jesus thanks the Father because He has hid the knowledge of the Gospel from the proud unbelievers of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.  It is God’s sovereign prerogative to conceal or reveal the mysteries of salvation at His own pleasure.  Those who are proud and self-sufficient are almost certain to have the truth of Christ’s gospel, which is a great destroyer of human pride, hidden from them.  This is what God did to those people who thought themselves too wise, or were too self-righteous, to believe on the Messiah when He appeared.  Thus, we can say that this certainly was the will of God, but it was also no more than these obstinate cities deserved.

Salvation, we find in verse 27, is unmistakably an act of God’s sovereign mercy.  All things are delivered to Christ by the Father, and He may impart the gift of redemption to those He finds worthy.  Men, being sinful creatures, alienated from the life of God by the ignorance that is in them, cannot know either the Son or the Father.  God the Father and God the Son know one another, but for a sinful man to know them takes a special, supernatural act from heaven.  Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, fully knows, and is in unbroken, intimate communion with the heavenly Father.  But yet, this knowledge and this communion is a gift which the Son is pleased to impart to a certain people.  No man knows the Father save the Son, says Christ, but then He blessedly proceeds to add, “And he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.”  Yes, salvation is by God’s sovereign choice, but to those who are chosen, what astounding benefits are conferred!  We alone, of all the multitudes of wrath-deserving sinners, are given to know God the Father by the grace of the Son!  How we ought to be humbled, to bow and worship before our sovereign and gracious God, and to marvel that we should have been chosen to salvation, when we were no more deserving of it than any other unbeliever.

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