Beyond These Walls: Here We Go! Week 2 Devotional Day 2
DAY 2 – Tuesday
Mark 4:22 with Mark 4:10-12 and Mark 4:33-34
How does 4:22 continue to develop our understanding of the purpose of parables explained in 4:11?
As we learned last week, parables are usually “stories out of ordinary life used to illustrate spiritual or moral truth, sometimes in the form of brief similes, comparisons, analogies or proverbial sayings. Ordinarily they had a single main point, and not every detail was meant to have significance” (NIV Study Bible). Jesus chose to teach in story form because stories engage the mind and emotions of listeners like no other form of teaching. Although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep, spiritual and central to the teachings of Jesus. In Mark 4, Jesus uses several different parables to help deepen our understanding of God’s Kingdom. Parables are often grouped thematically. Understanding the main thread that ties related parables together can shed light on their overall meaning and interpretation.
Jesus our King wants us to look more deeply into God’s kingdom, so He tells three more parables in this chapter to emphasize different aspects of the kingdom. He wants us to carefully consider what He is saying from different angles, like a jeweler inspecting a diamond, so that we can greater understand and appreciate its magnificent beauty. In Mark 4:11, Jesus tells his disciples that “the secret of the kingdom of God” has been given to them. The mysteries of how the kingdom of God would operate “are revealed to the disciples but withheld from the spiritually unresponsive crowd. God sovereignly uses…parables to either harden a person’s heart so that he or she will be unable to respond, or to elicit the positive response of coming to Jesus, asking for an explanation, and accepting his message” (ESV Study Bible). Jesus helps those who have receptive hearts understand what He is saying. But there are those who refuse to listen. Even today. Jesus used parables to teach engagingly and effectively, but also to expose and judge hardened hearts.
Jesus, give me a receptive and responsive heart (good soil) to understand, accept and obey the truths You are revealing to me today.