It’s funny to me (and sometimes I too am guilty) how when we hear the truth from Jesus we either say, “Yeah! That’s right! Hey people…get it right!” (because it applies to “them”, not us), or we don’t understand what is being said (because we simply don’t want to have faith and understand). We can’t be content with simply hearing the word of God and seeing His movement in our life…….it is important that we perceive and understand the truths and apply them to our life. Rather than say, “How does this apply to those around me?”…we should be saying, “Oh wow, His message is for me!”
Mark 4:10-12 (TNIV)
10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, ” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”
Why does Jesus very often speak in parables? Because he wants us to THINK! How often do we simply gloss over the simple answer? We don’t get it when it’s told to us outright. Parables insert the hearer into the story so that they can get a glimpse of the real world application.
I would point out that the word “secret” in verse 11 is translated from the Greek word, “musterion” [moos-tay-ree-on] which has a fuller meaning of “mystery” or “something not obvious to understanding”. I think it’s funny because AS I have started to understand the wisdom of Jesus and apply it to my life…..I often realize that the answer was always really obvious…I just didn’t believe it or try to understand it!
Maybe you don’t understand the truths of Jesus because you aren’t ready for it. God reveals the mystery to those who are ready to act on it, those who will make it a visible part of their lives. If this is you, pray and ask God, indeed, ask Jesus to open your heart and mind to receive the truth and act on it. Don’t live in self-imposed blindness. The “musterion” or mysteries of the kingdom of God, indeed, the kingdom of heaven will remain so as long as we stubbornly insist of living life on our terms. One thing I have found very true about God, our Father……He often gives us what we ask for. If we stubbornly refuse a relationship with Him…He will give us exactly that…no relationship with Him. His arms will always be wide to receive…but He will ultimately give us what we want.
Our whole relationship with God, indeed Jesus, starts with faith. Living with no faith puts us outside the reach of His truth. God’s wisdom is not a science experiment where we constantly must “test” the truth in order to see it. God’s wisdom always sounds like a LOVING father sharing His heart and experience; because he knows us…he created us. Apply His wisdom, enter into a relationship with Him not because it “works” (and indeed it does)….but because you know that His way is best and that His way can be trusted.
Indeed….our relationships all start with a level of faith don’t they….and the best blossom into a lifetime of love, commitment and fulfillment.