Secrets of the Kingdom!
Scripture reading for February 19th: Mark 3:31-4:25, Psalms 37:12-28, Proverbs 10:5
“Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” “When He was alone, the Twelve and the others around Him asked Him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been give to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.”” (Mark 4:9-12)
Jesus taught in parables, stories that had hidden meanings for those with spiritual ears and eyes. The parables were simple stories that used common events and characters that would have appealed to the people of that culture and day. Jesus used these stories to hide truth from those who were not ready to hear and to aide those who were ready to learn the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Not everyone with ears would be able to understand the secrets!
What were these secrets of the kingdom that Jesus was revealing to His disciples? This main parable about the sower, the seed, and the soils was a key parable to help understand all parables. The farmer was the Lord and the seed was God’s word. The people’s hearts were the soils spoken about here. There were various soils that represented their willingness to receive the word of God.
Jesus taught His disciples that their job was to scatter the seed as the Farmer (God) gave them opportunity. Some of the hearts where the seed fell would be hard and Satan would steal the seed before it could even begin to take root. Other hearts would be shallow, initially receiving the word, but then quickly falling away. Some would appear to have a good crop growing, but weeds representing cares of this life and the chase after riches would choke the good seed and leave no fruit. They were not to be discouraged but to continue on with their job of sowing.
The seed would have the power to bring eternal life in those who opened their hearts. It would be mysterious in the sense that a natural seed grows all by itself and this spiritual seed would work inside the heart and grow as well. (Mark 4:26-29) How is the soil of your heart today? Is the Gospel seed producing fruit?