Beyond These Walls: Here We Go! Week 1 Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Mark 4:9-12; Matthew 13:10-17; Isaiah 6:8-13
What was Jesus’ point in quoting Isaiah? What is he trying to get across by using that as the reason for his parables?
How do you depend upon the Holy Spirit as your teacher/helper when you read Scripture?
Reflect – The Parables (Part 2)
It’s pretty apparent in this passage that some people were “insiders” and others were “outsiders” when it came to understanding Jesus’ teachings. This can make us, as modern westerners, pretty uncomfortable. “Where is their choice in the matter? Shouldn’t everyone get a chance?” While the parables made Jesus’ teachings very accessible and understandable, in that they connected to his time and place, he taught things that people would’ve had a difficult time grasping without some more background.
With this in mind, we’ll fill out our description of parables a bit more. These parables, in addition to teaching spiritual truths, were meant to quietly demonstrate judgment against all who were living in rebellion to God. The Bible teaches that we all, because of our sin, are separated from God and deserving of his righteous judgment. Without God’s gracious intervention, we are unable to turn from our wrong ways of living toward God in belief and obedience. We all need a spiritual wake-up call and this only comes from God’s Spirit changing us from the inside.
Jesus’ parables, then, are a double-edged sword—they bring to light how far away we are from God and how compassionate God is to give us “ears to hear” what he has to say. It’s only because of God’s work in our hearts that we even care about Jesus, or even want to read the Bible, or have the ability to live the things we learn! This should lead us to immense gratitude and constant dependence upon God’s Spirit to teach us. Consider beginning each of your times in Scripture by expressing gratitude for God’s grace and requesting the Spirit’s guidance. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18).