The Lord, though deeply and thoroughly sensible of Israel’s rejection of Him, bows completely to the will and wisdom of God in it. (See Isa. 49.) “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” In this His blest supremacy was fully shewn. “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” The knowledge of God makes all necessarily good to us, for it comes from Him. It may be very contrary to our nature. To Jesus men’s rejection of His message was of course painful. It threw Him on the sovereignty of God His Father whom He knew, in the fact that His Father had hid these things from the sages of the world, and revealed them to the despised and weak. He acknowledged the Father in the thing done, and in its suitableness to the whole order of God’s dealings in such a world. That of course was all that the Son of God, or we taught of the Spirit, could desire; but it was in circumstances which required perfect submission of heart and will.
But this perfect submission of the Son gave rest, and brought His Person out to light. If He was thrown entirely on the Father, it was because He was Son, and because of His entire rejection in that character, in which, while perfect and shewing who He was, He had not taken His glory, and would have taken but the earthly dominion. The secret was that this was but “a light thing.” All things were delivered to Him of His Father, and by reason of the very glory of His Person, being Son of God, no man knew the Son but the Father. His service now was to reveal the Father in the prerogative of grace. For none knew the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him. “Come unto me,” says this only patient witness of love— “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Here I am, the rejected One, to whom in sure title all things are delivered of my Father; but One whose heart has bowed in all long-suffering of love, who has learnt submission, who has felt what it is to be pained and scorned and outwardly to find no refuge but submission. Come to Me. Men may have rejected Me, but I am the Son, and none knows the Father but as I reveal Him. Whosoever is burdened and passes not on with this haughty world, whosoever labours and is heavy-laden, here I exercise My love. “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” I have learnt how to speak a word in season to him that is weary. (Compare Isaiah 50 and the end of Romans 8, with its full extent of blessing to us.)
It was the Lord’s submission under such circumstances which brought the sense to His soul, and the revelation to others, of a much better portion than that of Messiah according to the law and the prophets. In regard to this, so to speak, He was rejected, and blessed be God for it! He had manifested patient gracious love to the nation, but they repented not even where His mighty works were done. The dispensation, although Messiah came in Person, ended in failure. “Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought and in vain.” He had stretched out His hands to a rebellious and gainsaying people. When He came, there was no man. For His love He had hatred. Reproach broke His heart. His hopes for the people, the title that He had, the title of His own love, were cast aside. Still there were babes who saw what was hidden from the great. “So it seemed good in thy sight,” was the hinge of the Lord’s comfort. This was enough. But what follows on this rejection? “All things are delivered unto me of my Father”; a wider, fuller, and more real glory. Yet, high as He is, He bids all come and declares He will give them rest—the rest of the revealed Father’s love.
There is none else to come to. All have proved faithless. Come to Me! Who could say this but the Son of God? Who could give rest to all that come but the Son, Jehovah Himself? But One will give rest freely and bountifully, the meek and lowly Son of God. He gives rest supreme, as one who knew what peace was in trouble as none ever did. He speaks the secret of it to others. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” It is not now “I will give.” That He could do as Jehovah and God the Lord; that He would do. But the word here is, “ye shall find.” I have learnt the way. (“Lo! I come to do thy will, O God.”) It is found in the path which Jesus has trodden. He alone trod it, or could tread it, perfectly in this world.
And yet it is not violent or laborious. In one sense it is easy, as the Lord says. Submit! Say, “Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Such is His yoke, and thus we learn of Him, who ascribed all to the Father, not to the circumstances. Hence He gave thanks to the Father always for all things, as we may and ought to do in His name. “It seemed good in thy sight.” That was enough. It was perfect submission, and the Father beamed out in it. Its value hangs on the perfect knowledge of sonship. The whole is most blessed, and to be learnt only in Christ. The infiniteness of the Son’s divinity was kept up, in His humanity, and therefore apparent humiliation and present inferiority, by His absolute inscrutability therein thus specially and signally maintained; while His oneness with the Father was made known in His competency to reveal, and supremacy of will in revealing, the Father. Both hold their place most beautifully, maintaing the Person in the glory of communion with the Father, and the inscrutability of God thus manifested while the Father was revealed.
How wise, perfect, singularly divine, is Scripture! There is nothing at all like it. No wit of man could have framed such a sentence as that.