“At that time Jesus 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 is what you were pleased to do.” (Matthew 11:25-26)
We are blessed to have a God who is not cold and distant, but who desires to reveal Himself to us. Though the things of eternity are wonderful beyond comprehension, God has given us the capacity to understand—if only we will see with humble, childlike purity. Pride is the greatest hindrance to understanding the things of God, and for this reason we are called to humble ourselves as a child.
Albert Einstein once said, “We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God." Humility comes before knowledge.
Jesus praised the Father for revealing great and mighty things to the foolish of the world—“foolish” meaning those who are willing to admit they don’t know it all. We are reminded that wisdom is not due to our selves or our faith. There is nothing within us that enables us to understand the deep things of God: “There is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God” (Romans 3:11). It is God, by His grace and mercy, who empowers us to understand. We have wisdom because He is merciful.
By His Grace, God enables the blind to see and the deaf to hear. We are left without reason to boast! We cannot commend ourselves for being wise, understanding, powerful or repentant in our own strength—for it is God who has done this work in us: “So, then, it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy” (Romans 9:16). When we look beyond ourselves, we will see that it is not about the greatness of our faith, but the object of our faith: our merciful God--the source and giver of all things.
To humble ourselves means to recognize that anything good in our lives has come from God by His mercy: “ ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches. But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, exercising loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Salvation is not a result of our great effort, for God has said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16), and: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). So if we boast, let us boast in Christ alone—for He has saved us by His grace and for His glory.