Reflection 5-7-20 Matthew 11 16-19 25-30
Reflection on Matthew 11.16-19, 25-30: 5th July 2020: Rev. Alexis Mahoney
This is a curious and interesting passage of Scripture which offers us both challenge, and comfort.
In the lead up to our passage for today, Jesus has been speaking highly of the importance of the ministry of John the Baptist. Jesus tells us that John is the end of a long line of prophets looking forward to the coming of the Kingdom of God, which is now here, in Jesus himself. And that John is the Elijah who has come prior to the Messiah.
And in our passage for today, both John, and even Jesus, suffer rejection by a generation acting like spoilt children. A generation who refuse to be satisfied by the wisdom of John and Jesus’s words and ways, and who cannot seem to understand either of them. A generation who are more self-absorbed and interested in the wisdoms of their own day rather than the eternal wisdom of God.
And while we might try to distance ourselves from Jesus’ observations here, if we’re honest, too much sounds familiar to many of us. Too much rings true.
History repeats itself, doesn’t it! Our society and culture, like the one Jesus was speaking to 2000+ years ago, are still fascinated and focussed on the powerful, the fashionable, the privileged, the influential; and we are still guided by the supposed ‘wisdoms’ of our time.
But when Jesus turns away from the people gathered and lifts a prayer to God, we begin to realize just how clearly His focus is centred. We realize that Jesus is not addressing the failure of individuals to respond to the coming of the Kingdom of God, but of society as a whole. And not only a society as a whole but an entire generation who fail to understand a message which is so utterly clear… The Kingdom of God is for “infants”.
This contrasts with the spoilt and distracted children Jesus refers to at the beginning of the passage. The infants Jesus is referring to are the sort of people who are humble, innocent, simple, open, trusting. And it is these who Jesus says somehow understand best the ways of God. It is these who receive Christ in their hearts and minds the most readily.