from my perspective…
Jesus said, “The mysteries of the kingdom are hidden from them.” He is referring to the crowds who “seeing do not see and hearing do not hear.” “but to you, who follow me, the mysteries are revealed.” (paraphrased from Luke 8:10-11, Matthew 13:13, Isaiah 6:9-10)
Why are the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven hidden from some and revealed to others? Doesn’t God speak to everyone? Jesus said to his disciples, “to you understanding has been given, but for others, they are in parables.” (Luke 8.10)
What’s the deal? Does God withhold his wisdom? I think not. God’s wisdom is like a hidden treasure in a field. Jesus teaches us, “If you seek for the hidden treasures of God, like you do for silver, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:4–5) And Jesus also teaches us, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
Why did the crowds “see and hear” but not understand? Because they feared and placed their hope in worldly idols, political and social ideas. If the worldly idols said, “fear this,” they fear it. And if they said, “Here is the solution,” they bought into it. They had turned away from God and His ways; they did not fear the things God told them to fear or seek His salvation and be healed.
But, “When Jesus saw a great crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:34, ESV) Jesus knows human beings love solving a mystery. Therefore, He taught those who did not have ‘ears to hear’ in parables, which is God’s wisdom hidden in a story.
The riddle has to be solved. The meaning has to be teased out. And when it is found, the mysteries of living in the Kingdom of God are revealed. It makes little difference if the listener is a life-long follower of Jesus Christ or just beginning their journey with Him; Jesus has something to teach us all.
For example, the Parable of the Sower reveals why God’s Word is not always effective in a sin-filled world. The Parable of the Good Samaritan reveals that although some people appear to follow God’s way, their traditions hamper God’s will from being accomplished. The Parable of “the ten minas” reveals how God’s blessings can be ineffective in blessing others.
This summer, we will ask and seek God’s wisdom to be revealed in Jesus’ Parables so that we may have a greater understanding of authentic Kingdom living. Jesus’ teaching constantly challenges idol worshippers to see the emptiness of following idols and turn away to live a better life.
Come and see the revealed mysteries of God that provide peace and security in a world of idols.
Your teaching pastor, Dennis