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Infant Scholars

Posted by Pastor Christopher Hull on

Psalm 8:2 sings, "Out of the mouth of babies and infants,have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger" (Psalm 8:2).  St. David, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote this Psalm as a psalm of praise to His Lord and our Lord, Whose Name is majestic in all the earth.  This psalm is a complete contradiction to the way that this world thinks and how our Old Adam reasons. babies and infants are not the strength of any society or organization, but in these verses we see that the greatest proclamation comes forth from the mouths of those whom this world declares weak, burdensome, and helpless. It is helpful when praying this Psalm to pray it in the context of Matthew 18 that says, "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus says that one must become like a little child or one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Luther wrote on the beauty of childlike faith saying, "This is the way Christ's kingdom is established, namely, not with human force, wisdom, counsel or power, but with the Word and the Gospel preached by infants and sucklings. By 'infants' He does not mean young children who cannot talk, but plain, simple, unsophisticated people, who are like infant children in that they set aside all reason, grasp and accept the Word with simple faith, and let themselves be led and directed by God like children. Such people are also the best scholars and pupils in Christ's kingdom"(Luther's Works 12:108).

To have childlike faith does not mean that you are ignorant or slow, but rather it means that you are led by God's Word. to have childlike faith means that you are guided and nourished by the Gospel of Jesus, rather than your own works and accomplishments. To have childlike faith means that your salvation is determined by what Jesus says, rather than the opinions of the world, the thoughts of the Old Adam, and the lies of the devil. To have childlike faith means that Jesus is the one doing all the work, both for your salvation and your knowledge of it. What this means is that our comfort and our confidence is not in our abilities, worldly experience, or appearance of progress, but rather our comfort and confidence is in the declarations of our Savior Jesus. He declares us righteous and He rescues us from this valley of suffering. He is the one that does all the work and we receive this knowledge in the pages of the Bible. Let us then have this childlike faith, trust that clings to the words of Jesus in spite of everything else in this life. In this, we are the chief scholars of the Gospel. In this faith, we are taught by Jesus Himself and strengthened by the Holy Spirit as we hear the Gospel and receive the blessed sacraments.

Peace be with you and may our Lord continue to grant you faith and trust as a little child sot that you may be guided through this life by His merciful Word of the Gospel alone. May the devil be silenced, the world be hushed, and the Old Adam drowned anew so that you hear only the voice of your Savior Jesus who grants you childlike faith and dependency, Amen.

Jesus' Sheepdog,

Pastor Hull

Tags: child, dependency, faith, luther