Journal Mk 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.
And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that:
‘…they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven…”
Observation: I wonder why Jesus spoke in parables? Did he not want all folks to understand so that they would repent and be forgiven?
Wouldn’t speaking and teaching plainly—no parables– accomplish that?
I have to wonder…
Analysis: There has to be a purpose behind God’s ways in this…
Even Isaiah prophesied:
“And (God) said, “Go and say to this people: Keep on hearing, but do not perceive. Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn and be healed…”” Is 6:9-10
Why did Jesus quote Isaiah here? Why would God want this?
I think it comes in the following parable: The Parable of the Soils.
Is God’s desire “shallow Christians?” No, I think not. In the Soils parable, the smallest fraction of what is described is the “seed falling on rich soil, producing fruit.” And do I want to produce “fruit?” If so, what is the fruit I should produce?
That’s the question, isn’t it? There are so many voices saying, “The fruit is this”, or “the fruit is that.” Even my own mind wants to describe what “fruit” means—and I don’t take the time to find out from God’s Word.
Do I have the desire to find out daily, or do I let the cares of this world snuff the fire out?
Prayer: Father, is there wisdom in plain speech or in clouded speech? Or do I even have to think about it?
I know when I speak plainly and pointedly, defenses are drawn up. When I speak otherwise, eyes roll back in their head, obviously not understanding.
How can I make my words “Apples of Gold in settings of Silver?”
Bring revival, O God.