Infants (only) for God

Infants (only) for God

At that same hour Jesus rejoice in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

~ Luke 10:21

Dear People of God,

In this verse Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and thanked God the Father. A deeply trinitarian passage if nothing else. But here we have an expression by which God topples kingdoms and great people and lifts up the lowly and the despised. The wise and the intelligent think that it is by virtue of their wisdom and intelligence that they have inherited the kingdom of God. But it is not so. The kingdom comes near, this is true. But not because you are the one to do it. Nor because you think yourself so high and mighty that God must accept you. No. Jesus prays, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent.” This is, of course, to take our reason and will out of the matter. God does not wait for you to prove yourself to him before he will accept you and bring you into the kingdom. And to such who think so the kingdom will never come. The proud will look and they will not find. In fact, God does not wait for you to make a choice at all. It has always been God’s choice that matters. 

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And who does God choose? As we see in Jesus’ prayer,  the things of the kingdom God has “revealed…to infants” saying, “yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” To infants? To infants? For real? But, but. An infant can’t understand anything! They have no reason! But let it be so. God can do anything. It’s always been up to him anyway. The kingdom, which comes to you by faith, is not a matter of reason or free choice or anything in us at all. All that’s needed is that God looks with favor upon you and gives you his word. Look at a baby. It’s not because a baby is supposedly pure and innocent. The kingdom of God is revealed to such because the little baby can do nothing for itself. We all start that way. We all end that way. Babies must be cared for by father, mother, parent, guardian if they are to live at all. Without that care they would die and go back to the dust. So it is, with you, dear people. If the kingdom of God has come to you it is because you also are a baby. It could have been when you were baptized as a baby (for there God gives you faith and makes the promise that his name shall be on you forever). But God could have waited to do such a thing until you are 30, 50, 90 or such. Even then, the kingdom is revealed to you as a baby. This is God’s good and gracious will through Jesus Christ. God’s will is to take infants, people who cannot care for themselves, and bring the kingdom to them—feeding them his word and the sacraments. What is the kingdom? Forgiveness of sins. Through that comes all other blessings. You could never take care of this. But God can. And he does. And in that you can trust a thousand times over. In Christ, who himself had been an infant (divesting himself of his Almighty power)—the kingdom is revealed to you. Amen.  

Peace and joy,
Pastor Levi Powers
Mount of Olives Lutheran Church
Rock Springs, WY