In the section we're skipping, Jesus inveighs against the faithlessness of his critics, chiefly the Pharisees and their ilk. He is also angered by the fickleness and lack of faith he finds among his own people relative to what the Gentiles show. Forget the scholars – give me the simple-hearted:
At that time Jesus 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.”
Sometimes knowledge can get in the way of our understanding, expectations cloud our ability to see the surprising, familiarity obscure the fullness of revelation. People envy those who have a “simple faith,” an ability to say “yes” to the story of God’s revelation in Christ, and to participate in that. Blessed are the simple-hearted – for they are often better able to get on with living by the Spirit.
And yet the Gospel is also given for those of us who think too much. Sometimes we just make it harder for ourselves. In the final analysis, analysis is not going to yield full understanding, any more than playing with the food on our plate is going to get us fed. The Good News is a gift to be taken and received, ingested, allowed to play in our minds, hearts and spirits.
Is the life of faith simple or complex for you?
How do you most fully connect with God – through your mind or your emotions or both?
If your analytical self gets in your way spiritually, you might try on a prayer practice of inviting Jesus to make his presence known, and just be with him, letting your feelings become known.
And if you tend to shy away from theological thinking, you might try a bible study and let your mind play.
Thanks be to God, even the most “wise and intelligent” among us are also invited to be “infants” in Christ, to put all our weight on the One who made us, loves us and renews us.