To Conceal and To Reveal (Matthew 13:10-17) by Bro. Luis Cortez

Good morning. Welcome to CHC. My name is Luis. I’ll be your preacher for this morning. So I’d like to to start today’s sermon by sharing that during the late 90’s, there is this band called New Radicals and they released their hit song Someday We’ll Know. And as we all know, it was made popular by the movie A Walk to Remember. I won’t talk about the movie. I’ll talk about the song. So the song talks about a guy wondering why his then girlfriend had to be taken away from him. For the guy, it was a mystery and he even compares this to other mysteries in the song like ‘whatever happened to Amelia Earhart’ or ‘does anybody know the way to Atlantis’ or ‘did the captain of the Titanic cry.’ I’m not sure if we’ll ever know. But the guy in the song hopes that someday he’ll know about this mystery.

And in the Bible, there are also mysteries but they are unlike the things mentioned in the song. And when scriptures talk about the mysteries or the secrets of the kingdom, it usually pertains to God and His kingdom. And Him being the King of this kingdom, He reigns in the hearts of His people with mercy and reigns over His enemies with judgment. And in our text this morning, we will learn that God has given His people ears, eyes and hearts that can know the rich mysteries or the divine things of God. Unfortunately, because of sin, particularly itong sin of unbelief, there will be those who will have ears and eyes but will resist and outrightly reject the message of God’s kingdom. And as we read our passage today, we will understand that despite people rejecting this message, God is still in control. In fact, He is in control over the unbelief of people, those people who reject Him by hardening their hearts through the faithful proclamation of the truth about the kingdom of God. This is heavy stuff but it is biblical. And we will learn more about this as we go through our sermon this morning.

So if you have your Bible with you, kindly open it with me to Matthew chapter 13 verses 10- 17. Again, that’s Matthew chapter 13: 10- 17. So hear now the very words of Christ.Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Verse 13..This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘“You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ Verse 16… But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Praise God for His word. And before we dive deeper into our passage this morning, let us open in a word of prayer. Father God in heaven, thank you for another Lord’s Day that You have given us and I pray oh Lord that You give us ears to hear and eyes to see your goodness and hearts that would be receptive oh Lord of your truths. And I pray oh God that we would respond and remain in worship as we listen to Your word preached to us this morning. May your people be edified and may the lost be found oh Lord. And may You be glorified. It is to Your sweet Name we pray, amen.

All right, so far, we have learned in the gospel of Matthew that Jesus and His message about Him as the Messiah and the mysteries of the Kingdom were being rejected by many people. Not even his miraculous works weren’t bringing. Yung celebrated experts of the law during their time which were the Pharisees to confess that Jesus was the Son of God. These people believed that the power of Christ actually was coming from the power of the prince of demons. Nabasa natin yun previously in Matthew 12 verse 24 sabi ng Pharisees: “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” And throughout chapter 12, we learn that many people blatantly rejected the power and authority of Jesus as the Son of God. And this wasn’t new for Jesus. If we trace back.. way back since the birth of Christ, we already see such hostility and and rejection particularly from King Herod who wanted baby Jesus to be killed.

And in the process of his evil intention, he ended up killing children of an entire village. And during the time of Jesus here on earth, many heard His teachings. And the people who were seated in power who were blinded with power, itong religious leaders, the Pharisees, they hated the message because it exposed their sinful hearts. Jesus spoke the truth, His word. And called people to repent of their sins and believe that He was the Messiah. And whenever they were confronted with this, instead of submitting to Jesus as Lord, they despised Him and even conspired to kill Him. It didn’t matter how much evidence, proof and information they were hearing and seeing, because of their sinful hearts they outrightly rejected Jesus. And this was the state of the hearts of many during the time of Christ. And yet despite the opposition and rejection, Jesus continued to teach and proclaim the message of His kingdom. But this time in Chapter 13, He was teaching them in parables. We learned so far in this chapter that parables are meant to b studied and understood deeply. While most of the illustrations that Christ used were conveyed to make the truth simple, parables on the other hand, were intended to reveal the hidden truths of the Kingdom to believers and withheld further truth about Him and His kingdom from unbelievers. And when Jesus taught in parables to crowds to multitudes, He addressed many types of hearers. But only the believers would be able to understand. But for those who won’t be able to understand because of their sin, God will let them fall deeply into their sin of unbelief. And since parables were a lot difficult to understand, the disciple were concerned about how the rest of the crowds would receive yung message ni Christ. If people were already rejecting Him, bakit pa mas kailangang pahirapan pa yung pagkaintindi nung message ni Christ? And two Sundays ago, we learned in the parable of the sower when the seed, the good news, scatter to different soils or yung hearts nung hearers we learn that there will be those who will not respond positively to it. Pwede rin natin isipin ng ganito na the gospel will always have mixed reviews. And when a product receives a lot of bad reviews, management usually adapt to changes, right; based on the taste of the consumer in order for them to receive good and positive reception or reaction. But in the case of Christ, He didn’t adapt to changing the message. He didn’t compromise. He remained faithful and continued to expose sinful hearts whenever He uttered His word.

The message stayed the same: Jesus is Lord of all, and many didn’t like this. And today in our day and age, we still experience this backlash and hatred from the world whenever they hear the faithful proclamation of what the word of God says. That’s why merong on-going temptation sa churches ngayon to compromise truth and twist the message making it pleasant to everyone’s ears. And when we distort and change the message of God and make it likeable for the world, it is as if we are saying that the truth shouldn’t be heard because it might offend people. But the truth of the matter is the message of God will really be offensive especially when it points out our sins. And if truth is not offensive, the issue of sin in our hearts will not be treated properly end seriously. The world wants messages that tickle ears and mesmerise eyes to love the world more than the things of God. The world carve their own truth making it into their idols and holding on to it dearly. And when they get confronted with the Bible, the biblical worldview, what the kingdom is like in the Christian faith, they won’t accept it because for them, it is folly, it is foolishness, it is outdated. 2024 na, naniniwala ka ba diyan sa Bible? These people mock and throw all kinds of hate messages toward biblical matters. But despite this tidal wave of arrogance and stubbornness, under the perfect judgment of God, the truth of God’s word will remain a mystery to them because the Lord will let them fall deep into their sin of unbelief.

And to those who have blessed eyes and ears, the divine things of God are there for them to be understood and to be studied deeply. And for these people, even if the truth hurts because it is offensive, even if they keep learning about denying themselves and carrying their cross to follow Jesus, we know that the word of God being offensive is good to them. And if you’re here today and you have understood this to be good for you, verse 16 of our text says that you are blessed for your eyes they see, for your ears they hear. And this is all because of God’s work in His people. Verse 11 says to you it has been given to know the secrets or the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is given. This shows us that God is the One who gives spiritual insight to some. He doesn’t give this to everyone but only to His people.

So in this text we already see the mercy of God and the justice of God on display. And this was demonstrated whenever Jesus taught in parables. And for us today, may this attribute of God lead us to worship Him and trust in His wisdom in choosing whom He will show mercy by giving spiritual insight to some, and to whom He will give perfect justice by hardening the hearts of some. Eto yung reason why Jesus taught in parables. Again, it is to reveal because God is merciful, and it is to conceal because God is just. And throughout the sermon this morning, this is what we will humbly learn and understand. God in His divine wisdom, exposes the hearts of hearers by revealing and concealing the mysteries of the kingdom. And we will go through this in two sections the first one is Concealed Mysteries.

A lot of people have raised a lot of questions regarding this. People have asked: is God a loving God when He lets others not understand His message? Why doesn’t He just let everyone understand and believe in the gospel? If this is the case, then everyone is saved. Of course the Bible doesn’t teach that everyone will be saved. The gospel is for every one but God is not God if He doesn’t perfectly judge sinners. All of us have sinned against a holy God and so all of us deserve judgment. But here’s the good news friends: God is also rich in mercy. As a creature created by a holy God, we do not have any right or power or strength to create our way of saving ourselves from judgment. A divine intervention must happen and it did. He sent His Son, Jesus to live like one of us. He became human and was called to suffer and carry our sins on the cross and bore the perfect judgment of God. That divine intervention created a way for us sinners to be reconciled to God. This is good news my dear friends. And if you’re here today and this is new to you, I humbly urge you to repent of your sins and believe that Jesus is Lord. Know that because of His mercy, sinners can hear and know about this beautiful gospel and other mysteries that God reveals to those who are in Christ. And we will discuss this more in the second section, Revealed Mysteries. So as we dive deeper into God’s word this morning, may God give us ears and eyes that will open our hearts and minds to know the hidden things, the divine things of God.

Let us consider the first part, Concealed Mysteries. To further understand why Jesus concealed the truth from others, we will look at Isaiah 6. So if you have your Bibles with you, kindly turn the pages to Isaiah 6. Jesus actually quoted this in our passage in Matthew verse 13-16, sabi Niya doon: this is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see and hearing they do not hear nor do they understand. Indeed in their case, eto, the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled. That says… so this is..yung Isaiah 6 you will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull and with their eyes they can barely hear and their eyes they have closed. Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn and I would heal them. So just a brief background about this prophecy of Isaiah that Jesus mentioned before this chapter, chapter five, which interestingly begins in a parable. It talks about a farmer, a vineyard with bad fruits, and the owner. Isaiah later on reveals that the owner is the Lord and the vineyard is Israel. And Israel, as a vineyard, was producing wild grapes making it sour and useless. And then in verses 5 to 6, the Lord declares that He will lay waste to the vineyard because it has ignored the ways of God. And after that ,in the remaining verses of chapter 5 from verses 8 to 30, Isaiah pronounces woes, anguishes, despairs on those people who were indulging in a sin of greed. Those who embrace their sin and mock the coming judgment, those who have mixed evil and good, those who believe they know better than God, and those who took pride in drunkenness and committing different types of injustices. So Isaiah saw the wickedness of these people and chapter five ended that way. But in chapter 6 after Isaiah saw the wickedness of the people in Judah, he then saw his uncleanness, his unworthiness when he saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up dressed in royal robes. And in verse five of chapter 6, so from woe to you, woe to you wicked people; woe to you verse 5 of chapter 6, Biglang naging “woe is me” for I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips for my eyes have seen the King the Lord host.

But instead of receiving judgment from God, one of the angels went to Isaiah touched his mouth with a coal from the altar and told him in verse seven: behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for. After this, only then that Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord, specifically yung call ni God sa kaniya to take the Lord’s message to Judah who would eventually not accept His message. Again, because these people will have ears but they will not understand. They will have eyes but will not perceive. So they have deaf ears, they have blind eyes and hard hearts. And so when Isaiah and many other prophets of old proclaimed the truth of God’s message, these people’s hearts were hardened even more. And the days.. in the days of Isaiah, and the days of the Incarnate Christ, many, again, many were rejecting the truth about the Messiah because of the faithful proclamation of God’s word. Naturally, their hearts were already hard. But in the divine wisdom of God, He hardened it more as a sign of judgment to them. I know this is a difficult truth to digest but again, this is what the word of God is telling us this morning and we must submit to what the word says about God concealing the truth from others. The natural state of man is to reject God.

R.C. Sproul in his book, The Holiness of God talks about this in the chapter God In The Hands Of Angry Sinners and I quote: “It is not enough to say that natural man views God as an enemy. We must be more precise. God is our mortal enemy. He represents the highest possible threat to our sinful desires. No amount of persuasion by men or argumentation from philosophers or theologians can induce us to love God. We despise His very existence and would do anything in our power to rid the universe of His holy presence. If God were to expose His life to our hands, he would not be safe for a second. We would not ignore Him. We would destroy Him.”

And so every time Jesus spoke His word, the wicked didn’t like it. But as judgment of them, God conceals the truth from them and lets them fall deeper into sin. We must keep in mind that God’s divine hardening of hearts is an act of judgment over their sin. Hindi ito unfair trait from God. But we have to be very careful when we tackle this matter. Let us not think that God is the Author of unbelief. Let me repeat that: let us not think that God is the Author of unbelief when He conceals the truth from others. We know in the doctrine of election that God chooses to save a part of humanity and the rest He leaves their hearts hardened in their sin as judgment. And when Jesus taught in parables, the response of the hearers revealed kung elect ba talaga sila or hindi. And this may seem to be unfair, but just like what Paul says in Romans 9, who are you oh man who answers back to God? Etong doctrine of election is not a man-made doctrine; it is explicitly found in the scriptures. And even if this doctrine is biblical, marami pa ring nags-struggle in believing this. And John MacArthur says this about why people struggle to understand this doctrine. “It is because and a quote, they allow their preconceived notions of how God should act based on a human definition of fairness to override the truth of His sovereignty as laid out in the scriptures.” This doctrine exists to keep us humble and dependent on the power of God. The problem is many times we act as if we’re the one in charge.

Church, may we repent of our sin of relying on ourselves and our emotions.

The sin of pride that keeps us from submitting to the will of God. So dear brothers and sisters in Christ, whenever we remember the electing power of God, instead of rejecting this truth, let us receive this with a heart that seeks to honour and worship God. Let this motivate us all the more to proclaim the mysteries of the Kingdom. We shouldn’t be hindered by our emotions and feelings whenever we see an opportunity to share the truth of the word to others. The mystery here is we will never be sure who is a vessel of mercy and who is a god-hardened vessel of judgment. Our call as citizens of kingdom is to let His message, the message of the King be heard. Proclaim it in words and deeds and let it do its work in separating God’s people and the enemies of His kingdom. But we must keep in mind that carrying His message will be difficult. We will be hated by our workmates and sadly even some of our closest friends and loved ones. There will be persecution, opposition and rejection. But let us not avenge ourselves and remain faithful in teaching patiently the message of the Kingdom to others and leave the work of revealing and concealing to God.

My first challenge for all of us then is this: May We Praise God Whenever The Word Is Proclaimed Faithfully Despite It Being Rejected By Many. The rejection may cause some of us to stumble and to be silenced from sharing the truth of God’s word. You may be in a season now that you’ve been sharing actively hard, biblical truths that people think of you as an enemy and many have discouraged you from sharing and teaching. Of course is a charitable way of sharing our Biblical convictions. We must keep away from attacking personal matters. Let others know what you’re saying is God’s word and not your words, keep your emotions in place, and most importantly, stay faithful in proclaiming the truth. Remember, we do not have the power to reveal the mysteries of God. It is God who will do the revealing. And if it is up to God, then it is in good hands.

Or probably some of you guys here have given up sharing the word of God with people na sa tingin mo, wala na silang pag-asa. And if this is how you feel towards them, let me remind you that once upon a time, you were a hopeless case. But look at where you are now. There was a time when you hated the Bible so much that you mock those who were so into it. There was a time when you disobeyed thoroughly and had zero guilt when you embraced sin. And here you are now, inside the church, seated comfortably and listening to the word of God that refreshes our souls, that renews our minds, and shapes our lives into Christ likeness. And this is because God is merciful, brothers and sisters. He has turned our hearts from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh. That is why the antidote to a hard heart that hates God is God’s power of regeneration. An un-regenerated heart will never love God and obey His commands unless God saves that person. And praise the Lord because He can save the worst of sinners because He has saved many of us here today.

So dear brothers and sisters, may we never lose hope in sharing to others God’s word where God can open the eyes of the blind and make the deaf hear through His power and grace. Trust God that He can reveal His mysteries to others just as how He has revealed Himself na once upon a time a mystery to us.

This leads us now to the second part of our sermon Revealed Mysteries. In verses 16 to 17 hina-highlight ni Jesus yung blessing nung disciples of understanding the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. The disciples were indeed blessed to have been given spiritual insight and have it, sabi sa verse 12, abundantly… and since they have this privileges, when Jesus taught in parables their hearts weren’t hardened but it was the complete opposite— their heart wanted to know what the parables of Jesus meant. And since God is merciful to those who are His, He patiently taught His followers every meaning of each parable He shared. In the gospel account of Mark in chapter 4, He says there: Jesus didn’t speak to the people without a parable, but privately through His own disciples, He explained everything. Jesus was patient with them because as we have discussed earlier, understanding parables needed time. The disciples and followers of Jesus needed to consider the claims of their Master and the ways of the kingdom. And since these disciples were truly the redeemed ones, they understood the message of God through the parables because God has given them spiritual insight. This also teaches us about the beautiful ministry of the Holy Spirit which is His work of illumination. The doctrine of Illumination is like an opening of the light or a light bulb moment in a Christian’s pursuit of knowing God in His word. The spiritual man understands the hidden divine things in scripture because his eyes can read through the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit. The believer doesn’t learn new truths na parang nanggaling sa labas na word ni God. When the Holy Spirit illuminates our eyes, we actually learn doctrinal truths na nasa scripture na talaga. Hidden lang siya or mystery. It’s been there all these time and is now revealed by God through the work of the Holy Spirit.

Along with the Holy Spirit’s work of Illumination comes the tool of interpreting scripture or what we also call hermeneutics. And many in the Christian faith have different ways of interpreting scripture. When we interpret the word of God, one must analyse it contextually and theologically. And these things when done without diligence and humility, may cause others to implement unfaithful ways of understanding the word of God. But praise God because He has given his people other believers to go through this pursuit of knowing God’s word in means that are ordinarily available in the context of a local church. So if you want to know more about the things of God and you’re not part of any local church, friend, go and plug yourself into one and learn from the elders and the teachers of the word there. Because it’ll be difficult for an unchurched Christian to know more of the divine things of God. You may ask but is it possible for a Christian to study and understand the things of God away from the church away from the body of Christ? Probably but that isn’t the ordinary way to do it. God designed the church where the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is abundant and active.

So dear friend, dear brothers and sisters, please go to church regularly and immerse yourself there with the teaching of God’s word. As for my fellow believers and members in this local church, let me remind all of us that we are all blessed by God with spiritual insight to edify one another and not to compete against each other. Our knowledge of God and the divine things of God is not for us to showcase and pin down others who doesn’t have the same level of knowledge that you do. Remember that it is because of God’s mercy that He reveals to us His truth. And we do not deserve the deep things of God, we do not deserve to know this, because of our sins. But since He is gracious in sanctifying us, He will keep revealing to us the the many beautiful things in His word that will make us more and more like Christ. Christ was patient in teaching the disciples what the parable meant and may we do the same when we teach others the beautiful doctrines of the Bible.

After telling the disciples why He was teaching in parables, He then tells them in verse 17 that aside from being blessed with spiritual insight, they had the greater privilege of seeing and hearing in the flesh Jesus, the one that many prophets and righteous people longed to see and hear. The people in the Old Testament didn’t get to see the prophesied Messiah, instead the disciples had that honour of having Christ, the God man with them in their journey of knowing the mystery of the Kingdom. And yes, Jesus was patient with them but later on in the story, even if they have been granted eyes to see and ears to hear, they would still struggle to understand how Christ would establish His kingdom for they had a hard time understanding why Jesus needed to suffer and die at the hands of the evil rulers of their time. At some point they even tried to resist Jesus in doing His mission. And when it was time for Jesus to die on the cross, the disciples scattered; they feared for their lives, they didn’t understand what was going on and went back with their lives before they followed Christ. But after three days, Jesus resurrected from the grave and He went back for His disciples.

And finally the mystery of Christ’s mission on earth made sense to them. He conquered death by rising from the grave ascending into the heavens and is now seated at the right hand of the Father as our reigning King. The disciples from then on were motivated to advance the message of the kingdom and all of them suffered and died for it. All who believed in the apostolic teachings and their message, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, came to understand as well the mystery of salvation through faith in Jesus. And fast forward to today, we still are blessed by God to see and hear Him. We do not hear and see Him in the flesh like the disciples, but we see Him revealed completely in the Holy Scriptures. Familiar tayo dito that scripture points us to Christ. And I’d like to share how John Calvin saw Christ in the scriptures: “He, Christ is Isaac, the beloved son of the father who was offered as a sacrifice but nevertheless did not succumb to the power of death. He, Christ is the good and compassionate brother Joseph who in his glory was not ashamed to acknowledge his brothers however lowly and abject their condition. He is the great sacrificer and bishop Melchizedek who has offered an eternal sacrifice with once for all. He is the sovereign lawgiver Moses writing his law on the tables of our hearts by his Spirit. He is the victorious and noble King David bringing by his hand all rebellious power to subjection.. and He is the strong and powerful Samson who by his death has overwhelmed all his enemies.”

So dear church, do you have that desire to know Christ? If yes, read His word, listen to His word preached ordinarily every Lord’s day. Again, we have been blessed to have a day of spiritual rest where we will just sit and hear the word preached and taught to us. And since the Lord prescribes this for us, the Sabbath for our own good, let us then honour the day of the Lord regularly. And hear the words and life of the great Physician who spiritually softens our hearts and opens our eyes to the beautiful and wonderful spiritual blessings that Christ offers. Again, sadly, but because of sin sometimes we use our sight and hearing not on things that will nourish us spiritually. We look at the things of this world, we listen to what the world tells us thinking there’s more to life outside the kingdom of God. Just as Adam and Eve fell in the garden when they looked at the fruit as something pleasurable and listened to the temptation of the serpent, we too are prone to letting our eyes and ears fall in sin. And praise God because we have the word of God preached to us to convict us of our sins and help us see our need of Christ. For the word of God is likened to a light. For the wicked, when the word is proclaimed to them, the light that shines on them blinds them. But for those who are in Christ, this light doesn’t blind them, but it makes them see clearly. The light of God’s word shines on His people in their sanctification exposing every sin that entangles them and helps the the believer slay these exposed sins. So have hope in this light and never lose sight of the One who has given us blessed eyes in order to know Him deeply in His word. And if you’ve been struggling kapatid, with sin, and maybe you’ve your discouraged in your progress and holiness, know that we have hope in Christ our ever patient, gracious and merciful God who lets us hear His word and see His goodness.

Familiar tayo dun sa conversion story ni Apostle Paul. Once upon a time, he was a Pharisee. And alam natin na yung Pharisees, they hated Jesus and his followers. So when Paul learned about these people, he went into the houses of Christians and jailed many of them, persuaded them to blaspheme and appointed their executions. The persecuted Christians feared for for their lives and many of them tried to escape. But Paul tried to follow them. And as he was on his way to look for the followers of Christ, on the road to Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. Paul encountered Jesus. He saw the light, he heard God. And because of his experience of seeing Christ, and seeing his sin of persecuting Christians, Paul lived his remaining days on earth as an apostle of Christ, carrying the message of God with him even if it cost him to suffer this time instead of the one persecuting Christians. Paul’s conversion and transformed life is a picture of God’s power and saving even the chief of sinners and to be used by God for the advancement of His kingdom. And through Paul’s life, the mystery of the Gospel was revealed to many other believers for he boldly proclaimed the divine things of God. And what’s worth noting in Paul’s life as a believer, is that he believed that all his previous accomplishments, academics and prestige status were but filthy rags and worth nothing compared to knowing Christ. He counted everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ.

How about us my brother, my sister in the faith? We’ve been hearing the blessing of having spiritual eyes and ears that can understand the word of God? But how are we so far in using this blessing? Do we value this gift of knowledge from God highly enough that we truly believe that knowing Christ is more important than anything in this world? Do we pursue reading the word of God not just for the sake of academic purposes but only for the sake of knowing more and more of Christ? Dear church, may the pursuit of knowing Christ be our ultimate goal in life. And that is why my last challenge for all of us is this: Highly Value The Blessing Of Having Eyes And Ears That Can Know Christ. Because nothing in this world is more valuable than knowing Christ. For nothing compares to knowing Christ, the One who has removed the veil between God and sinners. Nothing compares to knowing Christ, the One who intercedes for us and whose prayers are being heard by God, the Father. Nothing compares to knowing Christ, the One whom God the Father sees when He looks at us instead of our sins. Nothing compares to knowing Christ, the One who will return for us His people, His bride and usher us in glorification where we will be able to see and behold the God man, Jesus Christ.

We’ve been blessed to have the means to read and hear God’s word. Let us not take this for granted and maximise this gift to know more of Christ. One of the greatest hymn writers if not the best, Fanny Crosby, lived her life with great peace in knowing her Saviour and Lord despite being blind her entire life.

Without her knowledge of who Christ is and what He has done, she wrote many beautiful hymns that even up to this day are greatly edifying the church. Songs such as I m Thine Oh Lord, Near The Cross, To God Be The Glory and Blessed Assurance. These precious hymns were written to comfort the souls of our fellow believers, reminding every one of us of all the great things that the Lord has done for us. And despite being told by doctors that she would never be able to see again, she lived her life believing that the Lord permitted her to be blind to fulfill His plan. And she said that if she had a choice, she would still choose to remain blind. And she answers why and I quote “..for when I die, the first face I will see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.” This is all because Fanny Crosby knew who God was and such assurance and hope come from knowing who God is. As J. I. Packer says in his book Knowing God, “There is no peace like the peace of those whose minds are possessed with full assurance that they have known God and God has known them. And that this relationship guarantees God’s favour to them in life through death and on forever.”

So as we close dear church, let us behold the life and work of Christ, the wonderful mystery that we all cling to by faith. By the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, may we keep living our lives praising God for the mercy He has given to His people and having the privilege of understanding the beautiful mysteries of the kingdom of God that all point to our risen and reigning King, Jesus Christ.Let’s pray. Father God in heaven, let those who have ears hear what You have said to us in your word today. Lord, may You shape us into Christ likeness and may You save those who have heard the gospel for the first time today and may You be glorified all throughout this morning. Thank you for your word. Thank you for the rich mysteries that You reveal to your people. Lord, indeed we are super blessed every Lord’s day because of the ministry of the word. And may we not take this for granted. We love You oh God, in Your Name we pray, amen.

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