Today we are going to look at something Jesus did on a regular basis but we don’t get to hear much about. That something is how He taught. Mark quickly sums up Jesus’ teaching methods, publicly and privately.
When Jesus taught the crowds He taught them in parables. He told us earlier that He did this to keep His message hidden from many of those who came to listen to Him speak. Mark says, “He spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it” (verse 34). So we know some were able to hear, some of it.
This would be where the different kinds of soils came in. Some of the people that came to hear Him came to find fault with Him. Some came to hear Him out of curiosity. Some came seeking healing from Him. And some came seeking a Savior. As you can probably tell, the first is the wayside, the second is the rocky ground, the third is the thorny places, and the last is the good soil.
We know that the Pharisees occupied that first group the majority of the time, but even they understood many of His parables. They knew the meaning but refused to let that meaning make a difference in their lives. They often even refused to acknowledge their understanding.
I wonder how many others understood the real meanings behind Jesus’ parables. Mark reports that Jesus didn’t teach without doing it in parable format. He would continue using parables to the very end of His ministry.
But here is the good part; Jesus always explained EVERYTHING to His own disciples! He didn’t leave them wondering what the parables meant. He also didn’t leave them in the dark about what was going to happen to Him and them.
Even though Jesus told His disciples all this information, they didn’t really grasp it until after He rose from the grave. I think that too was a part of God’s plan. If the disciples REALLY understood all that was going on, would they have willingly walked with Him to Jerusalem that Passover season? Would they have tried harder to keep Him away? Would they have been looking for Him to sit on the earthly throne of Israel?
Even today, we have the explanations Jesus provided, but we don’t understand it all either. We still have prophecies that haven’t been played out yet. We have parables and dreams that we don’t really understand. We know these things are important, but I don’t believe we are supposed to have all the answers yet. Can you imagine how quickly we would try to take over and make things go our way if we REALLY knew of what lie ahead for us? We type A persons would have everything planned out to either prevent the disaster foretold in the prophecies, or to hasten Jesus’ reappearance. But that’s not how God has it planned. And just like the people listening to Jesus when He walked the streets, we only understand a portion of what He provided for us.
Father God, thank You for protecting me from too much information. You gave me just enough to let me know how it all turns out, but not enough to be able to pinpoint each occurrence in history or the future. You keep me from fear by telling me about the end and showing me how You worked things out before.
Thank You that as my soil/heart changes, You allow me to see and understand more of You. I know I won’t understand it all until I’m looking back on the next fulfilled promise. Until then, continue to remind me daily of how faithful You are. I trust You with my future. After all, You have the whole world’s future in Your hands already, so mine is a piece of cake for You.