CONCEAL // REVEAL
“Why all the stories, Jesus?” “Here we go again…” “Rabbi, can we get to the deep theology already?”
Those are a few questions I believe Jesus fielded during his ministry. He loved to teach in parables. These short stories are what we remember most when we consider Jesus’ teaching, but why did He choose to teach this way? Well, He gave a brief explanation in verses 11-12:
“You are permitted to understand the secret of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables for everything I say to outsiders, so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:
‘When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say,
they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.’”
So in a nutshell, Jesus was saying that the parables either CONCEAL the kingdom of God, or they REVEAL the kingdom of God. For those who don’t have the faith like a child (Matthew 18:3), the parables go further to conceal the Kingdom because they can’t fathom the simplicity. But for those who do have ears to hear (Mark 4:9), the kingdom is revealed to them. And He explains all this as fulfillment of Isaiah 6:9-10.
What about the parable of the sower? What can we learn from it today? Every one of us has probably heard a sermon on it and it’s full of good things to consider. Here are my brief thoughts on what this parable shows us:
- The work of true disciples. (sowing gospel seeds)
- The reality of ministry. (throwing seeds everywhere you can, but realizing that you have to leave the results up to the Lord)
- The goal of the Christian life. (“And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”)
- The heart of God. (grace & love: the radical mission of redeeming sinners)
To close, here is a challenge I’m putting before myself and anyone who reads it.
Devote your life to sowing gospel seeds. Remember that you can only control so much. Trust in God’s ability to sort out the growth. If you want more opportunities for Kingdom-impact in the future, be faithful in the present (Luke 16:10-12).
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor