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10 As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. 11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.

13 And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How will you understand all the parables?   Mark 4:10-13

      Hey, did you catch this last question of Jesus to His closest followers?  He is basically asking them if they understand what He is talking about in the parable.  Do they know the meaning of His words?  Well, if they are supposed to know the meaning, we too are supposed to know the meaning.  The caveat is if we fail to understand the meaning of this particular parable, we will fail to understand the rest of Jesus’ parables.  Wow!  Therefore, if we understand Jesus’ meaning here, we will have the “key” to the rest of His parables.  I am ready to pay close attention! 

      Do you understand the meaning of this parable… without Jesus’ help?  Being honest here, for years I only understood the superficial meaning of this parable.  One day the Lord told me to take a closer look at verse 13.  Once I began to apply the whole parable to myself personally, the whole meaning of Jesus’ words changed in my life.  So walk with me for the next few blogs and discover the deeper meaning to this parable.  You may just develop a deeper love and appreciation for all the parables.  I did. 

Are You an Insider or Outsider?

      There were two groups of people witnessing Jesus share the word in Mark 4.  The general crowd of people was present to hear Him.  Evidently it was so crowded, Jesus could not operate as easily as He desired.  He instructed His disciples to rig up a boat so that He could teach from the water.  This group heard only the parable.  They were not privy to its interpretation.  The Lord purposefully worked it out this way.  Why?  They were not ready for the full meaning and explanation.  These were the outsiders. Ouch!  We commonly think to ourselves that we are ready for anything the Lord will say.  Not so fast my friend!  For certain groups of people, God’s mysteries will always be a mystery.  Jesus will not “cast His pearls before swine.”  If you find yourself in this category, listen up.  I will help you to find your way out. 

      The other group of folks noted in this story were the insiders.  They were privy to Jesus’ interpretation and given “the mystery of the Kingdom.”  Yeah, I want to be in this group.  Listen…. we can’t just say, “I’m in this group.”  This would be committing the sin of presumption.  Don’t assume anything.  You can absolutely know  the “mysteries of the Kingdom of God.”  How can we know? 

It Is a Matter of the Heart!

     I feel like I’m divulging insider information.  Jesus spoke of these issues often.  The condition of your heart always determines what you can or cannot receive from heaven.  Your heart condition determines everything.  It reveals your spiritual status on a daily basis.  When your heart condition is right, it allows the Lord to give you many other good things.  Likewise, a hard heart stymies revelation and keeps the “mysteries of the Kingdom” from your grasp.  Many start out with a soft heart, but their heart is eclipsed by other loves.  Yikes! 

      NOTE: It is not a matter of being religious, keeping all the rules or knowing specific information about God.  If going to church made you a spiritual person, then the world would be full of them.  Being rightfully aligned to the Lord means the heart needs to be:

  1. Repentant – Always a great place to start.
  2. Given fully to the Lord.
  3. Continuously in the process of being cleansed.
  4. Pure – Empty of other loves.
  5. Treasuring God and the things of God.
  6. In love with the Lord!   

      Now all these thing do not have to accomplished at once, but the heart must in the process of Godly change.  When we are in our process, the Word, the Seed and Revelations of God, can have its best effect.  Are you ready?  The next few blogs we will examine how God’s revelatory word is planted in our lives.  Take a few moments today and give your heart fully to the Lord.  It will change your life!