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Daily Bible Readings

The Riddles that Draw You In Closer

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

[10] And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. [11] And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, [12] so that

“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”

Mark 4:10–13 ESV Read More

Sometimes this explanation comes across weird. Jesus speaks in parables so that nobody will understand? That’s not what He said. The secret of the kingdom has been given to them, but to those outside everything is in parables.  He then quotes the awful mission of Isaiah. 

Isaiah 6:9–10

[9] And he said, “Go, and say to this people:

“‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
[10] Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.”

Much like in Jesus’ day, the people around Isaiah thought they were doing everything right and exalting God by their rigorous activities. The only problem was, they were doing a bunch of stuff that God told them not to do and they weren’t doing the things He told them to. 

A parable is a story that really sucks you in and makes you think, then oftentimes throws you off at the end. One guy I heard explained it the best. The parables are like riddles that check the health of your heart towards Jesus. If you hear the parable and then blow it off as stupid or too complex, then you aren’t ready to learn what it means. If you hear a parable of Jesus and are interested, then you are open and ready to grow. 

When Jesus would tell a parable, it would either reveal that people were open to learn more about God’ Kingdom (they might turn and be healed) or they would shut up their eyes and years and not learn anything. The people claimed to be open, and thought they wanted to learn more about God, but Jesus and Isaiah’s teaching would show their true colors. For Isaiah, it was God’s “I told you so” when the Babylonians invaded because they didn’t listen. For Jesus, it is “That’s what I’m talking about!” when the people ask for further explanation. 

The goal of Jesus’ teaching was to draw everyone to Himself that would desire a righteous life with God. He would not force people to come along. Instead He would tell a story, and some of the crowd would come closer and ask questions and get to know Jesus and His message better. For those that didn’t care, (See John 6:60 and following) Jesus would let them stay in their disbelief. He loves them and hopes they will follow Him, but He isn’t calling half-hearted disciples. 

Jesus knows that when we learn something ourselves, we learn it a lot better than just having it spelled out for us. That’s why we promote being in groups and teams, reading your Bible every day, and talking about your spiritual life as much as possible. All of those things lead to gaining a greater understanding of Jesus and His ways. All of those things help us to have eyes to see and ears to hear the good news. God desires for us to understand with our hearts. He knows the process of discovery with Him is as full of life as the Discovery itself. 

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Tags: discipleship, faith, growing, learning, parables, sunday school, teaching