At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
The first paragraph is very restrictive. God restricts the people to whom He reveals Himself. Praise God for this selectivity. Jesus glorifies God for confounding those who esteem themselves or who are esteemed by the world as intelligent and wise. This is such an interesting twist on the wisdom literature of the Bible. In Proverbs, it is the wise one who understands God’s deep mysteries. We should expect, from reading the Tanak, that the ones who read and understand the law would be ready for the revelation of God’s holy seed—the Messiah. But, God is not contradicting himself. He is showing that all is not as it appears, for in the beginning of chapter 12, it becomes evident that the supposed law-keepers did not truly understand. They may have put on airs of intelligence and wisdom, but they failed to understand the wisdom of God. Thus, Jesus responds to the Pharisees, “Have you not read?” Of course they have read, but their hardened minds do not understand; so he concludes, “But if you had known what this mean.” It is mind boggling that these men, seeing the miracles of God, would grumble against Jesus rather than rejoice in the restoring of things crushed by the world. Their resistance is why Jesus exults in God’s withholding, “Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” God took pleasure in confounding the false religiosity and vain human wisdom of the Pharisees. The Pharisees failed where many intelligent and educated people are tempted—they took glory in their own intelligence whereas the glory really belonged to God. They were not satisfied with God’s prophets, as Jesus said in chapter 11, “and if you are willing to accept it,” for they were not willing to accept John as a prophet pointing to Jesus. Remember, when the Pharisees had gone out to John, he rebuked them because their lives did not match their repentance. Jesus began asking them about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see?” He concludes, “Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” Jesus message for the Pharisees was the same as John’s. The ground for Jesus’ preaching was truly prepared by John, remember “Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand;’” This was John’s message, too. Jesus, though, expanded it. Thus, later in chapter 11, Jesus condemned the cities that experienced his miracles but refused to repent. Therefore, Jesus justly praised God for hiding his wisdom from the unrepentant, from the wise and intelligent. God is vindicated in his choice and only those to whom Jesus reveals the Father can be saved. The gospel is thus justly restricted.
Then comes the second paragraph, and the “Great Call” is given. Remember, “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father,…[no one] knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Therefore, the gospel is opened to all by Jesus, to those weary from sin and the influence of the world and those burdened by fleshly regulations and without hope in the world. Jesus holds that power and he liberally opens the gospel. In fact, Jesus’ “Great call” is dependent on God’s restrictive power. In verses 25–7, we are told that God withholds the gospel from the wise and intelligent, and that only Jesus will reveal the Father. In verses 28–30, Jesus reveals the Father through submission to Himself. Jesus clearly says “all” may come to him, those who are weary and heavy-laden. Notice how the structure of this passage is similar to the Great Commission of Matthew 28. First, compare “all things have been handed over to Me” with “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Then contrast “come to me” with “go therefore.” Both include a movement of the person in relation to Jesus’ position and authority. The would-be disciple must first come to Jesus and submit to his yoke. That disciple will become the disciple-maker and be sent by Jesus back into the world to bring others to the “gentle and humble” master. Third, notice the emphasis on “all”: “come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden;” “make disciples of all the nations.” Jesus has given open access to the Father to all who will humble themselves and repent. Finally, Jesus comforts the disciple and discipler. Thus, in chapter 11, Jesus affirms the humble would-be disciple that He will give her rest, while in chapter 28, Jesus affirms the disciple-maker that he will be with her always. With Jesus, we are always coming to Him, and He is always with us, and we are always going with Jesus bringing others, from all the nations, to Him.
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying,
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.
Have you submitted to Jesus’ call? Have you repented of your false religion and vain understanding?
Have you come to Jesus, only he will give rest to your mind, heart, soul and body.
Are you going with Jesus? Are you making disciples, encouraging others to come to Him?