Jesus Rejoices in the Spirit
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”
We have professed our belief, but what ensues after that is the enemy trying to see in which kind of soil the seed was planted; the persecutions and temptations that follow do all in their power to dislodge that seed.
This is why our Lord emphasizes not only the hearing, but the doing, of the Father’s will. It is why James tells us faith without works is dead (James 2:17) We put distance between ourselves and our accuser when we manifest our faith in the covenant we’ve entered into: that we believe in the atoning work of the Son, that we may dwell eternally in the Kingdom of G-d.
At one time, our lives were such that we turned seek G-d, but the Father granted authority to the Son to reveal Him to those who sought Him.
YOU were chosen to be given the truth that buried doubt, subdued sin, granted you peace, answered your questions as to G-d’s very existence, and removed you from the impending judgment of the Father’s coming wrath.
What it does not remove us from is the enemy’s grasping attempts to pry us loose:
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Satan not only asked, but Jesus granted him permission. The most volatile of the Apostles, the one whom Jesus called the Rock on which He’d build His church, would deny Him in His hour of need.
Here we see the power of our Lord’s prophecies at work again: He knew Peter would return, because He said ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ Peter then went on to deliver some of the most searing sermons ever preached, but he went through a time of sifting by Satan, and indeed, had a broken heart and contrite spirit.
Hard soil was tilled. Peter was the only disciple who went into Jesus’ tomb to make sure it was, in fact, empty. He was the only one who stepped out of the boat when Jesus called him.
Have we treated the revelation and gift of salvation, given to us by the Father and revealed to us by Christ, as the gift it truly is? Have we contemplated remaining in faith, repentance, obedience, and works that we might be granted eternal life.
Jesus said to His disciples, when they returned from their missions,
20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Are we rejoicing in our spirits today?
24 This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Therefore I pray:
Father in Heaven,
There are days we have taken for granted the gift of the Son’s grace to reveal the Truth of of Your word to us. We ask through the power of Your Son’s holy blood that You forgive us for treating it as a common thing.
We would not crucify our Lord again.
Today, we pause to give thanks for all You’ve provided, for seeing us through our trials, for delivering us from the sifting of our enemies, for as Paul tells us, we contend in a world of warring spirits for the value of our souls.
Today, we reflect on the grace of our Shepherd to bring us into the light and green pastures of Your peace, the bloody wrath of Your impending day sparing those of us who believe in the only Name under heaven by which we are saved.
Today, we rejoice that we have made our Lord rejoice in His spirit, that our own unworthy names are written in Heaven, in the Book of Life. Let our works shine before our unbelieving brethren, that they may come to believe and glorify You, Father.
Today, let our spirits be renewed to not only hear, but do, Your will, abiding in Jesus, for we can do nothing apart from Him, that we might bear fruit that withstands the testing fires.
We rejoice that we too, will be raised up on the last day, to dwell in Your house, and in Your presence, now, and truly forevermore.
May it be done to us as You have said.