The Parables

I was recently reading through Mark 4 where Jesus gives the parables of the sower.  The sower goes out with his seed, some falls on the path, some into the thorns, the thin soil and then some onto good ground.  At the end of the parable, when the disciples were alone with Jesus those around Jesus asked about the parable. At this response Jesus says,  “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?”.  I must be as slow minded as the disciples because as I looked at the parable of the sower, I realized that there was no way that I could have figured out what Jesus was talking about, had Jesus not given the explanation in verses 14 – 20.  There seemed to be no natural connection between the types of soil and the hearts and situations of people.  Now after Jesus explains the parable everything makes sense.  Because I honestly realized that without the help of Jesus to interpretation to interpret this parable, the statement of Jesus somewhat bothered me, “If you can’t understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?” (NLT)  I couldn’t understand this parable without help, so what hope was there for me to understand any of the other parables or teachings of Jesus?

However I did notice something that was encouraging. Verse 34 says that, “when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.”  Obviously these disciples did not understand all that Jesus was saying, but when they were alone with Him, then He provided the explanation, (see also vs 10).  There is no question that Jesus often spent time alone, with God His Father.  There is no doubt that these were meaningful times of prayer and fellowship as the Gospels often talk about Jesus pulling away from the crowds to pray alone.  (see Matt 14:23; Mk 6:47; Lk 9:18; Jn 6:15)

Just as Jesus was alone with His Father to receive direction and clarification about situations, then my hope and encouragement is that as I take time to be alone with Jesus, He too will speak clearly about the truth of His Word and the situations around me.  Take some time to be alone with Jesus.  Ask Him what He would want to tell you or show you.

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