Once Upon A Time...
Matthew 13:1-3a; 10-17
Verse 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
Parables are stories told to teach a lesson instead of to entertain. In today's reading Jesus is trying to explain to His disciples why He chose to speak this way instead of just to teach.
Did you notice that Jesus didn't answer their question with a question this time? Often a teacher will respond to a question with a question when they are either trying to get the student to reason out the answer themselves or when they know the student knows the answer if they will just think about it a minute. Jesus knew neither was the case in this situation.
Jesus almost makes it sound like He is speaking in code to the disciples. He was pointing out to His disciples that they have been chosen to hear this message that remains a puzzle to the other followers. Remember verse two said that a large crowd was gathering. The others would have heard the same story but they didn't understand the message. And though the disciples needed it explained to them, He was willing to do that because He knew that they were given knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of Heaven. They needed to understand these truths because of the mission that would soon be theirs.
After Jesus tells His men about the prophecy regarding not everyone being able to understand He tells them, they were blessed because they could see the meaning and see Him, and many prophets and righteous people had longed to see what they had seen. Jesus was telling them this gift they were given by this knowledge was good and it came with the greater gift of being with Him.
Why were these parables included in the Bible? So we can know truth. And how do we understand the secrets of the kingdom? Jesus told His disciples in John 14:26, "...the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." He wan't just saying the Holy Spirit would help the disciples. We know that as Christians we also have the Holy Spirit and He will remind us of the things we need to remember. Of course the key is we need to be reading and studying the Word so that He has something to remind us of.
Making it personal
Hove you ever found it hard understanding something you read in the Bible? Have you ever stopped to ask God to help you understand it? Next time you are struggling with understanding Scripture take a few minutes and pray about it and then try reading it again.
Making it personal kids
Who do you ask when you don't understand something at school? Who do you ask at home? Both places have people who are willing to answer your questions because they want to see you grow in knowledge. God wants to see us grow too so He gives us the Holy Spirit so we can ask Him for help anytime we need to understand. Don't be afraid to ask Him.
Dear Father, thank You for wanting us to understand and for giving us the knowledge to know what You are wanting us to do. Help us to remember what James says in James 1:5-7. You will give wisdom if we ask with sincere hearts. Thank You. In Jesus' name, amen.