April 13

Text: Matthew 13:10, 11

And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"  And He answered and said to them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.” (NASB)

As a teacher, I learned there are those who wish to be taught, and those who do not wish to be taught.  I learned to never underestimate the determination of those who wish to learn.  I also learned that no amount of persuasion will convince a person determined not to be taught to learn. Before learning can occur there must be desire.  It must be the desire of the person—not the desire of someone close to the person who needs to learn.  Another’s motivation is insufficient!

Jesus knew the same thing!  To some, Jesus’ teachings were incredible, invaluable insights into life, life’s purpose, and God’s promises.  To some, Jesus’ teachings were so much nonsense.

To Jesus’ disciples, everyone needed to hear and understand what they heard and understood.  To Jesus’ disciples parables were not the way Jesus needed to teach—he used too many parables.  Jesus needed to be plainspoken and direct when he taught.  Then “they” would hear and accept what “we” understand—teaching was just a matter of information that had little to do with desire or motivation.

Thus their question was why.  “Why do you use so many parables in your teaching?”

Jesus’ answer was astounding.  “Not everyone wants to understand and accept what God intended in the kingdom concept.  You are willing to learn.  Many are not.  To you, parables illustrate a reality you accept.  To rejecters, parables are just meaningless stories.  Those who reject have no desire to understand.  Plain talk would only increase rejection.”

Consider two things.  (1) Those who thought they understood God’s kingdom had much to learn!  After Jesus’ resurrection, their willingness to learn would be severely tested!  (2) God’s intent was bigger than anyone’s imagination!  God’s intent centered in the people of the world instead of the people of Israel!

Suggestion for reflection: Are we teachable?  When? (Read John 6:60-66.  Note disciples reacted.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell