Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hiding the Truth?!

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable:  5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.  6 Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.  8 But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’  (Luke 8:4-10)

I think this is the 1st time in Luke a parable has been recorded. The fact of parables leads us to ask questions of our Lord.  Why hide the truth from some? How is that fair?  Verse 10 plainly states, "And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’"

This is the explanation given by our Lord to his disciples as to why he speaks in parables.  Compare this with Isa 6:9-10 where we read of Isaiah's commissioning.  Is it really the case that Christ is seeking to hide the truth of God that men might not see, hear, and 'be converted'?!

Matthew 7:6 contains a parallel concept which we shall consider at this point. "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

In a sense we can see where this leads. When Christ shrouds the truth in parables he is not seeking to bar the truth from any who come to Him.  Those who are really truly interested will seek to work through the matter. 

Dogs and swine, as pictured here, are not interested to work hard to know the real meaning of a passage - for the truth is not their goal.  Their interest is solely to twist and malign the Lord of glory.  They know not their souls condition, and think themselves well because of their unbelief.  In a very real sense, what parables do is to divide the sheep from the goats.

We read in Matthew 18:1-6 of the little child who comes to Christ.  The verses of note are 3 - 4, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Here is a good opportunity to pose a question - Why are you seeking to understand the Scripture? What is your motive? This is what gets at the heart of the matter. 

We read that in vs. 9 the disciples asked Christ what it meant.  Why did they do this?  Because they were disciples!  They were bound and determined to know the truth!  The very definition of a disciple is one who is a learner.  A student MUST be willing to accept the precepts the Teacher is presenting.  What kept the others from coming?  Nothing but pride or laziness.  They have not because they ask not. We read in Matthew 7:7, “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find. 

What a privilege all men have today!  When this parable was first given, those outside were not given the key to understand (vs. 11 - 15).  But we today have the whole matter disclosed before us! All may read and understand if only they would!

Are you still troubled that anyone would apparently be barred from the door?  Earlier I referenced the humility of a little child as a requirement to understand.  Yet those Jews of old were stubborn, and they were filled with pride.  They would not come and stand with the disciples to learn the truth of the matter and this of their own accord.  No one has barred them from coming - Especially not the Lord.  He is simply showing them their prideful condition, in forcing them to humble themselves in order to know. We have the blessing right before us, but such requires us to be ready to learn from the master. 
Our responsibility is to humble ourselves - give up our own understanding of matters and accept what he states.  Sometimes this means we simply take the explanation given. Sometimes we need to be humble enough to ask Him (vs. 9).

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