Mark 4:11–12 (NASB 95)
11 And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, 12 so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.”
Explain / Examine
Jesus was talking to his disciples after teaching the parable of Sower and Soils. He was letting them know that they were willing not to be blind and deaf to the message of the gospel. Jesus was quoting Isaiah here.
How do I apply this to my life?
My thoughts here go to a Jewish Messiah, quoting a Jewish prophet about the Jewish people. They were blinded to the gospel. They knew a messiah was coming but could not see that he had already arrived. They could not hear the words of salvation. Only those willing to open their ears and eyes found Jesus and the mystery of the church. Would the church be here today if their eyes and ears were open when Jesus walked the earth? Would Christianity have spread across the globe if all Jews believed in Jesus two thousand years ago? I don’t think it would have. The process of getting the gospel out took Jesus’s own people, rejecting Him. Now, among the gentiles, we are still deaf and blind to the good news. Not because we are still looking for the Messiah, but because we are humans trying to find salvation in everything except God. This void built-in wants to worship and follow, but in our pride and confusion, we cling and grab ahold of all the wrong “gods.” Blinded by sinful nature to want to rule and reign over our own kingdoms. As a believer, how do I live life to capture the curiosity of a non-believer or the curiosity of a believer who is not growing in their faith? Because that is what I see Jesus doing. His parables provided an opportunity for those with curious hearts who knew they wanted something more in life to open their eyes and ears and change their minds. What opportunities am I providing to a blind and deaf world to hear and see Jesus?
What is my response?
Father, let me provide opportunities for others to open their hearts, minds, eyes, and ears. I know I am nothing more than a mouthpiece for a message of hope. To let men know, they are not alone! We are more than starved isolated individuals. There are men around all of us who are hurting and don’t know how to make it through the next week. The pressures of life are dragging them down. The ideals of what men can and can’t do have them boxed in and screaming for help internally but they will never say a word because it’s not what a man does. LIES! We have emotions. We have feelings. We must be strong and gentle. We can also be vulnerable. I pray that any man who reads this finds a safe man in their life with whom they can share what is really going on inside them. That in this man they can confide the dark things that no one talks about. And this safe man will sit and listen to and still say at the end of everything, “You are loved!” Amen.