“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
“Jesus began to say, I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and clever and learned, and revealed them to babies (to the childish, untaught and unskilled).” Matthew 11:25 (Amplified version)
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16-17
“Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many of you were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified…my message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” I Corinthians 1:26-31, 2:1-2, 4-5
“He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26
“When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood…” Psalm 73:16 17a
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
I was reading the story in Luke chapter 2 about Jesus when he went to the temple as a boy. He, a 12-year-old boy, was in the temple teaching the teachers (experts who had been studying the Scriptures all their lives), and “Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.” (Luke 2:47). God has chosen to reveal Himself to the childlike, and what is more “childlike” than a child? Jesus acknowledged God as His Father and shows us that it was by the power of the Spirit that He had understanding. Jesus is God, so He always has the Spirit, but I think that Jesus is showing us the way in this story…that we will have understanding and wisdom only through the power of God’s Spirit within us – when we dwell in our Father’s house with Him and rely completely on Him, trusting and obeying in complete humility and surrender. Jesus is the Way, and if we claim to live in Him, we must walk as He walked (I John 2:6).
In the story of the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19, only the foreigner, who probably was unfamiliar with and had not been taught the Jewish law and proper protocol for cleansing and healing, was able to see and accept that the power of healing came from Jesus, not the priests. The other nine’s wisdom and knowledge got in the way and became on obstacle. Jesus told the one who returned: “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Lk. 17:19). It was by faith, which is a gift from God, that the man could see, understand and accept that Jesus is Lord and Healer.
In the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14, their attitudes, the differences in their posture toward God and how they addressed Him, mirror the difference between relying on our own wisdom and understanding and thinking our righteousness comes through our own efforts and relying completely on God and His great mercy, love and wisdom, knowing that our righteousness is a gift through Jesus that we don’t deserve and could never earn. Jesus Himself is our righteousness. “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Lk. 18:14b).
May we all, like little children (in complete humility and trust, without wisdom or knowledge of our own), come to our Father to receive Him, to allow Him to clothe us in Jesus, our righteousness, and to fill us with His Spirit.