Matthew 11:26
Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
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(26) For so it seemed good.—Literally, Yea, Father, [I thank Thee] that thus it was Thy good pleasure. The words recall those that had been spoken at our Lord’s baptism (“in whom I am well pleased,” Matthew 3:17), and the song of the heavenly host on the night of the Nativity (“good will among men,” Luke 2:14). The two verses are remarkable as the only record outside St. John’s Gospel of a prayer like that which we find in John 17. For the most part, we may believe, those prayers were offered apart on the lonely hill-side, in the darkness of night; or, it may be, the disciples shrank in their reverence, or perhaps in the consciousness of their want of capacity, from attempting to record what was so unspeakably sacred. But it is noteworthy that in this exceptional instance we find, both in the prayer and the teaching that follows it in St. Matthew and St. Luke, turns of thought and phrase almost absolutely identical with what is most characteristic of St. John. It is as though the isolated fragment of a higher teaching had been preserved by them as a witness that there was a region upon which they scarcely dared to enter, but into which men were to be led afterwards by the beloved disciple, to whom the Spirit gave power to recall what had been above the reach of the other reporters of his Master’s teaching.

11:25-30 It becomes children to be grateful. When we come to God as a Father, we must remember that he is Lord of heaven and earth, which obliges us to come to him with reverence as to the sovereign Lord of all; yet with confidence, as one able to defend us from evil, and to supply us with all good. Our blessed Lord added a remarkable declaration, that the Father had delivered into his hands all power, authority, and judgment. We are indebted to Christ for all the revelation we have of God the Father's will and love, ever since Adam sinned. Our Saviour has invited all that labour and are heavy-laden, to come unto him. In some senses all men are so. Worldly men burden themselves with fruitless cares for wealth and honours; the gay and the sensual labour in pursuit of pleasures; the slave of Satan and his own lusts, is the merest drudge on earth. Those who labour to establish their own righteousness also labour in vain. The convinced sinner is heavy-laden with guilt and terror; and the tempted and afflicted believer has labours and burdens. Christ invites all to come to him for rest to their souls. He alone gives this invitation; men come to him, when, feeling their guilt and misery, and believing his love and power to help, they seek him in fervent prayer. Thus it is the duty and interest of weary and heavy-laden sinners, to come to Jesus Christ. This is the gospel call; Whoever will, let him come. All who thus come will receive rest as Christ's gift, and obtain peace and comfort in their hearts. But in coming to him they must take his yoke, and submit to his authority. They must learn of him all things, as to their comfort and obedience. He accepts the willing servant, however imperfect the services. Here we may find rest for our souls, and here only. Nor need we fear his yoke. His commandments are holy, just, and good. It requires self-denial, and exposes to difficulties, but this is abundantly repaid, even in this world, by inward peace and joy. It is a yoke that is lined with love. So powerful are the assistances he gives us, so suitable the encouragements, and so strong the consolations to be found in the way of duty, that we may truly say, it is a yoke of pleasantness. The way of duty is the way of rest. The truths Christ teaches are such as we may venture our souls upon. Such is the Redeemer's mercy; and why should the labouring and burdened sinner seek for rest from any other quarter? Let us come to him daily, for deliverance from wrath and guilt, from sin and Satan, from all our cares, fears, and sorrows. But forced obedience, far from being easy and light, is a heavy burden. In vain do we draw near to Jesus with our lips, while the heart is far from him. Then come to Jesus to find rest for your souls.From the wise and prudent - That is, from those who "thought" themselves wise - "wise" according to the world's estimation of wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1:26-27.

Hast revealed them unto babes - To the poor, the ignorant, and the obscure; the teachable, the simple, the humble. By the wise and prudent here he had reference probably to the proud and haughty scribes and Pharisees in Capernaum. They rejected his gospel, but it was the pleasure of God to reveal it to obscure and more humble people. The reason given, the only satisfactory reason, is, that it so seemed good in the sight of God. In this the Saviour acquiesced, saying, "Even so, Father;" and in the dealings of God it is proper that all should acquiesce. "Such is the will of God" is often the only explanation which can be offered in regard to the various events which happen to us on earth. "Such is the will of God" is the only account which can be given of the reason of the dispensations of his grace. Our understanding is often confounded. We are unsuccessful in all our efforts at explanation. Our philosophy fails, and all that we can say is, "Even so, Father; for so it seems good to thee." And this is enough. That God does a thing, is, after all, the best reason which we "can" have that it is right. It is a "security" that nothing wrong is done; and though now mysterious, yet light will hereafter shine upon it like the light of noonday. I have more certainty that a thing is right if I can say that I know such is the will of God, than I could have by depending on my own reason. In the one case I confide in the infallible and most perfect God; in the other I rely on the reason of a frail and erring man. God never errs; but nothing is more common than for people to err.

26. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good—the emphatic and chosen term for expressing any object of divine complacency; whether Christ Himself (see on [1265]Mt 3:17), or God's gracious eternal arrangements (see on [1266]Php 2:13).

in thy sight—This is just a sublime echo of the foregoing words; as if Jesus, when He uttered them, had paused to reflect on it, and as if the glory of it—not so much in the light of its own reasonableness as of God's absolute will that so it should be—had filled His soul.

Ver. 25,26. Luke 10:21, hath the same thing, only he thus prefaces, In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, & c. He rejoiced in spirit, his heart was inwardly affected with this grace of God his Father. Then he answered and said. Answering in Scripture doth not always signify replying to the words of others, but a speaking upon some fit occasion offered, a beginning of a speech.

I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth. In the Greek the same word is used which signifieth to confess. In all thanksgiving and praising there is a confession of the power, wisdom, or goodness of God, so as all praising is a confessing, though all confession be not praising. By calling his Father

Lord of heaven and earth, he acknowledgeth his absolute power to have done otherwise, even as it pleased him.

Because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent. By the wise and prudent he here plainly means the scribes and Pharisees, the learned doctors of that age, who should have been wise and prudent, and were so both in their own and in their followers’ opinion. By

these things he means the mysteries of the gospel, as Matthew 13:11, The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. God is said to have hid them, because he had not revealed them to them; nor can it be understood of a mere external revelation by the preaching of the gospel, but of an internal revelation by his Spirit, so as they embraced and believed them, 1 Corinthians 2:10; in which sense Paul saith, If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost, 2 Corinthians 4:3.

And hast revealed them unto babes, nhpioiv. It signifieth persons that are young in years, infants, and weak in understanding. He principally means his apostles, together with those ordinary persons that believed in him, for the Pharisees said, John 7:48,49, Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. O Father, (saith our Saviour), thou hast all power in thine hand, thou art the Lord of heaven and earth, thou couldest by thy Spirit have caused these learned men to have received and embraced thy gospel, and followed me, as well as these poor fishermen, and other Jews of none of the highest quality; in that thou hast not done it, thou hast declared thy justice, for their rejecting of thy counsel for their salvation, but in that thou hast revealed these things to any, especially to these persons, not under the same worldly advantages for reputation, wisdom, and wit, herein thou hast showed thy special and abounding grace, as well as the greatness of thy power. Lord, I rejoice in thy dispensations, and I give thee thanks that out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected thy praise. There can be no other reason given of this, but thy good pleasure;

Even so, Father; so it pleased thee. We may from hence observe,

1. That the further revelations of Christ some souls have more than others enjoying the same outward means, are not to be ascribed to the power or goodness of the will of man, but solely to the good pleasure of God.

2. That from the beginning of the gospel, the special and effectual revelations of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven have, from the good pleasure of God, been made generally not to the most learned and wise men in men’s account, but mostly to persons of a meaner rank. Surgunt indocti, et coelum rapiunt: Nos cum doctrina nostra in Gehennam trudimur. 1 Corinthians 1:26-28 Jam 2:5.

3. That wheresoever God by his Spirit reveals the mysteries of the kingdom of God, it is matter of great joy and thanksgiving; especially where God reveals these mysteries to persons most unlikely to have received them.

Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. Or, "so is the good will", or "pleasure before thee": thus, "let it be the good will before thee", or "in thy sight, O Lord", is a phrase often to be met with in the Jews' forms of prayer (x). Here the word designs the sovereign counsel and purpose of God, to which, and to which only, our Lord refers the different dispensations of God towards the sons of men: this is a reason which ought to satisfy everyone, and is better than ten thousand others that can be thought of, or devised by men. This difference among men, with respect to the Gospel revelation, cannot be owing to natural sagacity, prudence, and penetration; for these things are with those from whom it is hid; nor to any worthiness in those to whom it is revealed; for they are the poor, the base, the foolish things of this world, and even things that are not; nor to any foresight of their making a better use and improvement of such a revelation, but to the good will and pleasure of God only.

(x) Seder Tephillot, fol. 4. 2. & 5. 1. & passim. Ed. Amsterdam.

{h} Even so, Father: for so it seemed {i} good in thy sight.

(h) This word shows that he contents himself in his Father's council.

(i) God's will is the only rule of righteousness.

Matthew 11:26. Solution of the contradiction regarded as a confirmation of the ground for thanksgiving. Understand ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι before ὅτι (not because, but that, as in Matthew 11:25).

ἔμπροσθέν σου] belongs to εὐδοκία: that thus (and not otherwise) was done (was accomplished, comp. Matthew 6:10) what is well-pleasing before Thee, in Thy sight; what is to Thee an object pleasing to look upon. Comp. Matthew 18:14; Hebrews 13:21. For εὐδοκία, comp. Matthew 3:17; Luke 2:14.

Matthew 11:26. ναί reaffirms with solemn emphasis what might appear doubtful, viz., that Jesus was content with the state of matters (vide Klotz, Devar., i. 140). Cf. Matthew 11:9.—πατήρ: nominative for vocative.—ὄτι, because, introducing the reason for this contentment.—οὕτως, as the actual facts stand, emphatic (“sic maxime non aliter,” Fritzsche).—εὐδοκία, a pleasure, an occasion of pleasure; hence a purpose, a state of matters embodying the Divine Will, a Hellenistic word, as is also the verb εὐδοκέω (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21, where the whole thought is similar). Christ resigns Himself to God’s will. But His tranquillity is due likewise to insight into the law by which new Divine movements find support among the νήπιοι rather than among the σοφοί.

26. Even so, Father: for] Translate: “yea Father [I thank thee] that, &c.”

Matthew 11:26. Ναὶ, yea) Even so. Jesus assents to the good pleasure of the Father. “Even so, oh Father!” is an epitome of filial confession.—ὁ πατήρ is in this passage more significant than πάτερ would have been.[545]—εὐδοκία ἔμπροσθέν Σου, well-pleasing in Thy sight[546]) The will and the intellect of God put forth His decrees. His good pleasure is the highest limit, beyond which we are not permitted to go, in examining the causes of the Divine decrees. Thus presently, concerning the Son, we find the expression, βούληται, may will, Lat. voluerit.

[545] The latter, a simple vocative; the former, in form, a nominative with the article prefixed, in effect, an emphatic vocative of a peculiar character, similar to the analogous ὁ Θεὸς.—(I. B.)

[546] In the original, “Beneplacitum coram Te.” It is difficult to render Beneplacitum in this place so as to show its intimate connection, or rather identity, with “Beneplacitum” a few lines below, where I have rendered it, as elsewhere, good pleasure.—(I. B.)

“Thou, who art the Father” (par excellence).—Ed.

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