Have you ever read something in the Bible, scratched your head, and muttered to yourself, “I don’t get it“?
You are not alone. In fact, Jesus’ disciples regularly listened to Jesus teach only to question him privately later. They didn’t get it.
One day Jesus told a story about a farmer sowing seeds onto hard paths, among rocks, weeds and on good soil. Only the seeds that landed on good soil produced any fruit. Nice story, the disciples thought, but what did it mean?
When they asked Jesus for an explanation, he described a strategy of speaking in parables so that some would hear and understand and others would not.
It seems a little counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?
Not if we realize that Jesus had more than one purpose for speaking in parables. Parables communicate Kingdom truth, but they also test the hearts of his listeners.
In the Parable of the Sower, the seeds represent the Word of God falling on to human hearts characterized by various levels of receptivity. People with hard hearts reject the Word outright. In others, the Word sprouts but then wilts when things get rough. Sometimes the soil is soft enough, but it is also cluttered with worldly weeds that crowd out spiritual growth. Only the seeds planted in good hearts, those who receive the Word, persevere through difficulties and somehow resist distractions, will flourish.
Understanding, therefore, is a mysterious function of both divine revelation and human willingness to receive it. Jesus knew that he was sowing good and powerful truth, but he also realized that some people would reject it.
When the disciples asked Jesus for help in understanding his parable, Jesus said, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.” What is the secret?
The secret to the kingdom is the One who brought the kingdom of heaven to earth,
who was fully God and fully man,
and who bridged the gap between sinful man and a holy God.
A receptive heart and a fruitful life starts at the foot of the cross in humble recognition that we need a Savior. Jesus accomplished a cosmic transaction in human history when he took the penalty for our sins on the cross and offered us his righteousness in exchange. It was a completely unprecedented and unexpected event, and many people did not get it.
Jesus Christ is the key to understanding the Kingdom of God.
Do you get it?
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10