Privileged to See What the Prophets Could Not
Chris' Corner - Sunday, August 9, 2020
"But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it” (Matthew 13:16-17).
Jesus’ disciples were able to receive the great mysteries of the kingdom that had been held back from the great prophets of the Old Testament days. We are grateful to live on this side of the cross and receive the same truths through the apostles and New Testament writers.
Paul wrote “...if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:2-5).
The whole process of inspiration is intriguing, but imagine what it was like for the prophets of old. As Jesus said, “...many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Peter included angels with these prophets. “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:10-12).
The mystery through the ages was “the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.” This would be His being God’s very Son coming to earth in human form and living among men. It would be His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and the establishment of His kingdom on earth.
Even though they spoke and wrote the very words they were given, these things were so fantastic, so marvelous, those prophets of the past could not figure them out. Not even the angels, who stood before the presence of the Godhead continually, had a clue. They knew the Savior was coming to set up His eternal kingdom. They knew God had some plan of the resurrection and afterlife, but they didn’t know when. They didn’t know the fantastic details involved.
For those on this side of the cross, Paul told the Galatian brethren, “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
How privileged we are. How wonderful it is to live in a time when all God’s wondrous plans have been revealed. May we never neglect the study of these truths the prophets desired to look into, but were not privileged to know. And to think, we’ll meet all of these great men someday and rejoice together in heaven with the Lord.