Mark 4:11, 12
When Jesus’ disciples asked why He spoke in parables to the people instead of clearly telling them His message, He said, “so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'”
Jesus quoted Isaiah 6:9, 10 here and at first I find His answer a bit troubling. I think I would have asked, “Jesus, didn’t you come to reveal God, to turn men from their sins so they could be forgiven?” If we read on, some light is shed on this mystery. Here is what He says in the rest of the chapter and an explanation of what He was saying.
Mark 4:21-22 – He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.”
Jesus is saying He did not bring this “light” for it to always be hidden. It was meant to be brought out into the open but not now, not by Him.** His disciples will be the ones, after his resurrection, to enlighten others. Because of this, He goes on to tell them to pay close attention (consider carefully what you hear) and be liberal in sharing it with others when the time is right. Mark 4:24 – “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.”
He goes on to say that if they do plant the seed, share this “light” with others, though they may not see it happening or fully understand how it happens, the Word of God, which is alive and powerful, will produce a harvest of souls.
Mark 4:26-29 – ” ….. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain … As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
Jesus came to make the way to God available. He left us here to bring out into the open what has been concealed – the way of salvation He made possible. If we will simply share the truth, even if some falls on rocky, thorny or infertile soil, the seed of God’s Word will produce a harvest.
Where are you going to scatter the seed today? Who has God put in your life today as a field for you to deposit the life-giving Word into? Will you use it so you can receive “even more” from the Lord?
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
** Cp. Mark 8:30 where his disciples proclaim He is the Messiah and He tells them to not share this news.