But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.'” (Mark 4:10-12)
He Taught Them Many Things By Parables
The word of God has always been clear in its meaning and understanding. God told Adam and Eve they could eat of every tree in the garden but the tree of knowledge of good and evil they were forbidden. Satan’s first words were to challenge the word of God and convince Eve the word of God was hard and difficult to understand. She believed the devil and disobeyed God along with Adam. Man has always been challenged in suggesting the word of the Lord is difficult to know and to discern what real truth is. Jesus taught many lessons during His ministry. Some were sermons, other times He discussed matters on a one-to-one basis and often He would take His disciples in private and reveal truths to them. One of the tools Jesus used in teaching was explaining the Father’s will through parables or illustrations intended to explain an important teaching of eternal truth. The gospels tell us He taught in many parables.
Teaching in parables was not to discourage the multitudes from learning the truth but instilling a practical application of truth. Finishing the parable of the sower Jesus admonished the multitude, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” This defines the purpose of the parables. Hearts that seek the truth will find the truth but those hearts who are hardened will not see any value to the word of God. The mystery of the kingdom of God is not a mystery to those who are willing to open their hearts in faith to the word of God. The commands of the Lord are never burdensome and His word is always clear to understand. What challenges man is his refusal to accept the simple teaching of the Lord. Did Noah really grasp the meaning of a universal flood and how building an ark with animals inside was going to save his family? What sense did it make after a person was bitten by a snake to look upon a bronze serpent on a pole? Naaman said it best when the said, “Behold I thought” after Elijah told him to do something very easy to understand: dip seven times in the Jordan River.
Jesus taught in parables not to hide the truth but to show the power of God’s word on the hearts of true seekers who will readily accept the word of God. Obedience to the Lord has always been a thinking man’s religion. Mindless worship is of no value. To those who have no interest in knowing the truth the parable is a story without purpose. They see the story but do not see the truth. Hearing about a man sowing seed on the ground does not sink into their hardened hearts. Obedience to the will of God demands a heart open to the teaching of Jesus and an acceptance of His word that is unchallenged. All of God’s word is a parable in form asking man to seek and find the truth that can be found with an open heart. Those who cannot see the plain teaching of scripture have closed hearts unwilling to accept in faith the word of God.