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"At that Jesus rejoiced, exuberant in the Holy Spirit. ’I thank you, Father, Master of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the know-it-alls and showed them to these innocent newcomers. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way.
"'I've been given it all by my Father! Only the Father knows who the Son is and only the Son knows who the Father is. The Son can introduce the Father to anyone He wants to.'
"Then He turned in a private aside to His disciples, 'Fortunate the eyes that see what you're seeing! There are plenty of prophets and kings who would have given their right arm to see what you are seeing but never got so much as a glimpse; to hear what you are hearing but never got so much as a whisper.'" Luke 10:21-24 (The Message).
I wonder whether the disciples ever recognised how privileged they were!
Over a period of thousands of years the prophets had spoken of a time when God's Messiah would come. Perhaps they did not clearly understand the reason for His coming, especially since each one had only a tiny piece of the puzzle. Peter wrote about this in his first letter, perhaps remembering the words of Jesus spoken here and realising with hindsight what He was getting at.
"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glory that was to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, Even angels long to look into these things." 1 Peter 1:10-13 (NIV).
The Twelve, and now this bigger group of seventy, were standing on the threshold of a new era, not only in their own history but also in the history of the world. Their exclusiveness was about to give way to a revelation of God's love and mercy to all mankind that they had not even fully appreciated.
It's no wonder Jesus was exuberant though He knew full well what lay ahead for Him and them before His worldwide mission would be fulfilled. Of course He knew the Father! He was one with the Father, in essence, nature and purpose. Before He left the Father's realm and willingly laid aside His rights as God, He fully participated in the power and majesty of the Godhead.
He introduced them to the Father just by them being around Him, although it took a while for them to realise that. "'Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me?'" John 14:9-10a (NIV).
It was Jesus' strategy to reveal Himself and His ways to those who were uncluttered with religion and theology. He bypassed the ones who were "qualified" through book learning, passed on by the ones who thought they were qualified, in favour of the simple ones who would take the truth the Holy Spirit revealed at face value.
Learning has value if it does not close one's mind to the ministry of the greatest teacher of all, the Holy Spirit who is in residence in His temples. We, who are the temples of the Holy Spirit, have the author of the Book within us. We have an even greater privilege than the disciples because we have the advantage of access to the whole Bible and the revelation of many thousands who have recorded their insights into the Word through the Holy Spirit.
How much do you honour this honour?
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