Luke 10:21 ESV

"In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, '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." My emphasis.

In Luke 9:2 Jesus sent the twelve "to proclaim the kingdom of God". This proclamation does not sound like something being "hidden", rather the opposite, i.e. It is the open announcement of these things.

Also the prophets announce. e.g. "For to us a child is born..." Isaiah 9:6-7.

  • "Wise and of understanding" basically corresponds, today, to folks with high IQ's, college degrees, especially advanced degrees, prestigious, high paying white collar careers. God does not reveal His truth to such people, He reveals truth to the lowly, what many would call morons and losers. Many people think they understand God's truth but actually they don't, they believe what appeals to their advanced, educated minds and egos. Just the way it is folks.
    – moron
    Sep 28, 2023 at 15:42

4 Answers 4


Luke 10:21 speaks of things that are hidden from those who are wise and understanding. The things that are concealed are understood to be mysteries of faith that are accessible only through revelation. The verbs apekrypsas (Strong’s 613 meaning to hide, conceal) and apekalypsas (Strong’s 601 meaning to uncover, reveal) are in the active voice with the subject, the Father, being the agent of the action.

The OP notes that “In Luke 9:2 Jesus sent the twelve ‘to proclaim the kingdom of God’. This proclamation does not sound like something being ‘hidden’, rather the opposite, i.e. It is the open announcement of these things.”

While men are called to go and proclaim the kingdom of God, it is the Spirit who reveals at every step of the way, from the first person who receives it, to when he speaks/proclaims it, to the next person who receives it in turn (cf 1 Corinthians 2, 2 Corinthians 4:1-4). St. Paul pointedly states that no one can know the things of God except those who receive the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11-14 NKJV

11 Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

  • 1
    "the Father, being the agent" is clear.
    – C. Stroud
    Nov 1, 2023 at 12:37
  • @agarza Can you explain how to superscript the verse numbers?
    – Nhi
    Nov 1, 2023 at 14:29
  • 1
    Of course!! Use the following formatting: <sup>**00**</sup>. For additional info, see Standard format for biblical quotations.
    – agarza
    Nov 1, 2023 at 14:30
  • 1
    @agarza Thank you!
    – Nhi
    Nov 1, 2023 at 14:35
  • @C.Stroud Yes, the Father through the Holy Spirit.
    – Nhi
    Nov 1, 2023 at 19:09

Perhaps the clue is in the Isaiah verse which Luke does not quote; "You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall see but never perceive" (Isaiah ch6 v9 as quoted Matthew ch13 v14, RSV). If people do not take in what they have been told, then the meaning is hidden from them.

In Matthew ch11,the equivalent declaration follows the complaints made by Jesus (vv16-24) about the way "this generation" has refused to understand him,with particular reference to the stubborn attitude of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum. One could say that his message had been "hidden" from them, because they heard without listening.

  • 2
    This. Before I converted, reading the Bible was like reading gibberish. After I converted, I remarked on many occasions how the whole thing seems to be in a kind of "code" that only faith can decrypt. Sep 27, 2023 at 10:21
  • @Stephen Disraeli. "you have hidden/apekrypsas" being 2nd person sing' active denotes the Lord of Heaven doing something. In your answer I see the results of God's action but not the action itself.
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 27, 2023 at 15:06
  • @C Stroud This is related to the very obscure question of what is meant when it is said that God "hardens" someone's heart. Sep 27, 2023 at 15:43
  • @Stephen Disraeli. As I understand it Christianity is revealed religion. From this verse if God does not actively reveal, then He actively conceals/hides.
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 27, 2023 at 16:26

Jesus had openly started his earthly ministry; he sent his disciples out openly; they openly spoke in public about the kingdom of God. They were not doing anything secretly, or trying to do things surreptitiously. They also performed miracles openly, as part of the testimony that the kingdom of God was actually in their midst, with power. All the people could hear and see that which they had long hoped for.

So, what caused Jesus to exclaim in joy about God the Father having "hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children"? What things were hidden from some, but not from others? Well, the previous verses showed Jesus' authority enabling the disciples to triumph over all the powers of darkness that were actively trying to deflect attention from Christ and who he was. This is seen in all the gospel accounts: the Jewish people were being terribly afflicted by demonic powers. When the seventy returned to Jesus with myriad accounts of demonic powers being cast out and made subject to the authority of Jesus' name, he said,

"I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven" Luke 10:18 A.V.

Nobody else saw that. Only Jesus. Yet the seventy also saw the 'fall' of Satan's demons, simply whenever they commanded them to leave, using only the authority of Jesus' name. When Jesus followed that up with stating that vision, they would not doubt it for a second. Quite the opposite, they would 'see' (understand) that such an invisible thing had happened because they had witnessed the result of Jesus' power over Satan and the demons.

The people who had been miraculously cured of demon-possession would also 'see' (understand) this manifestation of the power of the kingdom of God. They would likely be poor people in the main, those despised as cursed by their religious leaders for not knowing the law (John 7:48-49). The kingdom of God remained hidden from those leaders. They had heard the same Kingdom message and seen the same Kingdom miracles, but their ears and eyes remained closed. God had hidden that from such proud men who refused to turn to Christ as the Lord's Anointed, the King of God's Kingdom.

That is why Jesus went on to say that no man can come to him unless the Father draws him (John 6:44 & 65). Jesus also said that the words he speaks are spirit and life (vs. 63)

"...but there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him." John 6:64 A.V.

That gives the answer: the presence of Christ and the proclamation of the Kingdom all happened openly, confirmed by miracles of casting out demons, and healings, but God would only open the ears and the eyes of some so that they could 'see' with understanding the significance of all that, whilst others who heard and saw the same would not understand, for they would not believe.


What does "you have hidden" mean in Luke 10:21? The answer is in verse 9;

Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ (Luke 10:9 NIV)

It repeats again in verse 11

‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ (Luke 10:11 NIV)

Jesus was full of joy through the Holy Spirit (vv21), for He rejoiced the names of these 72 disciples were written in heaven (The kingdom of God) (vv20).

In Matthew 10:5-15, Jesus sent out the twelve disciples with specific instruction;

As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ (Matthew 10:7 NIV)

In fact, the message "The kingdom of heaven has come near" was first proclaiming by John the Baptist, who was the one saying 'prepare the way for the Lord and make straight paths for him' (Matthew 3:2-3). Jesus began His ministry proclaiming the same 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near' (Matthew 4:17).

The kingdom of God has come near, for Jesus is here. 'Whoever have ears, let them hear.'

  • Ah! If I had used incorrect grammar in the sentence, would you help me to fix it as you usually do. Thank you! Sep 27, 2023 at 15:38
  • I got in a muddle myself, sorry.
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 27, 2023 at 16:05

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