The Gift of Knowing

Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. Matthew 11:25-26

Knowledge, according to a popular dictionary definition, is the “acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation.” These last two words indicate the conditions for knowledge, and so the one who wishes to acquire knowledge is assumed to be a “student” or “investigator”. In other words, the responsibility for acquiring knowledge lies with the one who wishes to know.

Some people, of course, are better students than others. They have higher IQs, are wiser than their peers and are generally better and faster at understanding concepts. Many of them become professional students, that is, full time researchers who get paid to share their ever-increasing knowledge with lesser-enlightened souls.

But suppose the acquisition of knowledge did not depend on the knower but on the object of knowledge. And suppose the object of knowledge allowed itself to be known by using criteria that had little to do with study or investigation. If that were the case the wise and understanding would loose their advantage. And those who qualify according to the different criteria would gain it.

It’s a strange idea, isn’t it? Yet that is exactly what the Bible teaches. Knowing God does not depend on our wisdom or understanding, but on God making himself known. This “revelation” comes to children, which suggests that the condition for receiving it has more to do with dependence, vulnerability and sincerity than an abundance of grey matter.

That explains why someone like famous atheist Christopher Hitchens, who has been voted the “world’s fifth top public intellectual”, has not been assisted by his formidable intellect to discover a single thing about God.