Year 2 Day 86
Read - Mark 4:1-20
Message - Alan Burke
I’ve been told on more than one occasion, what we need is more preachers who teach Jesus, who tell stories, things easy to understand, parables, preachers who just tell us about the love of God. Normally I smile, and agree, but it’s in the knowledge that they know not what they ask for because they haven’t given time to consider the things that Jesus said and taught or the reasons for using parables. Maybe I should try taking this advice on Sunday because the parables are like an insider joke. You know what I mean by an insider joke, it’s a joke known to those who are on the inside and it may only take a word like “game” some people who know me will know immediately what I’m on about, but you likely have no idea and may be scratching your head because it’s known to those on the inside. What Jesus was doing in the parables as we are told here is that Jesus told… “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.’ ””.
Here Jesus quotes from the prophet Isaiah (6:9-10). Isaiah was called by God to preach the good news but in a way that the people of God would be ever seeing but never perceive, ever hearing but never understand. For the people of God had been faithless and Isaiah was being sent to preach a message of judgement and Jesus comes to do the same. Here in this passage we have, the disciples and the follower are insiders, they can understand the secret of the kingdom, but the outsiders are blinded by the parable. The kingdom has come, Jesus the king is among them, it is only through faith that they would see and perceive the truth, it is only through faith that they would hear and understand, but God had veiled the truth from them in judgement because of their sin. There were many who heard the teaching of Jesus, who saw the miracles he preformed but although they could see, they did not perceive, although they heard they never understood.
The only reason the disciples and the others with Jesus understood is because their understanding had been given to them by God. This is the truth of the kingdom of God, it is the work of God in the lives of human beings, it cannot be achieved by human means but by the work of God the Spirit. For the insiders the disciples and others with Jesus, he had been given the secret of the kingdom, because God had chosen to reveal himself in this with in the incarnate Word Jesus Christ, only by faith could they recognise the Son of God, and Jesus is the secret of the kingdom. What an assurance this is for those of us who have seen and heard, who have come to understand and know who Jesus is and that he is the Son of God, the King of a new kingdom, that he has revealed to us who he is and what he has done. We have ears to hear because God has given them to us. What joy should rise in us know that God has given us ears to hear, calling us to himself. Give God the thanks and Glory for the faith you have.
Q90 How is the Word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
That the Word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, (Prov. 8:34) preparation, (1 Pet. 2:1–2) and prayer; (Ps. 119:18) receive it with faith and love, (Heb. 4:2, 2 Thess. 2:10) lay it up in our hearts, (Ps. 119:11) and practice it in our lives. (Luke 8:15, James 1:25)