“To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; in order that “they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand.”- Mark 4:11-12 (NRSV)
Do you ever read scripture and feel perplexed? I do. And, this scripture happens to be one of those. What do you do at times like this? I often start talking with the scripture. In talking with this scripture I tend to hear; “communication for you is totally impossible with either the you or the those.” First, am I a you or a those? I hope I am a YOU! Therefore, I know and understand the secrets of God’s kingdom. Now, how do I identify the those? Seemly, anyone outside the Kingdom of God. They sure have a comprehensible problem wouldn’t you say?
9 thoughts on “Mark 4:11-12”
Sara asks, “Do you ever read scripture and feel perplexed? ” Yes, often I do.
Then she asks, “What do you do at times like this? ” Sometimes I read the context and look up other scriptures regarding and ask the Lord for help to understand and other times I don’t make the time or effort to do that and think I will come back to it another time which is not good.
Next question of Sara’s: “First, am I a you or a those?”. I believe I am a ‘you’ based on my acceptance that Jesus is my Savior, The Way, the Truth, The Life to the Father (the only way) and I am on a life journey of learning to follow and obey Him. I saw as I read Mark 4 that Jesus said ” The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” Listening is defined by one source as “to pay attention; heed; obey (often followed by to):” So I understand that if I do not obey what I do hear, I won’t ‘hear’ anything else…all dependent on following and obeying.
Then Sara’s question, “Now, how do I identify the those?” I would agree with her answer.
Next question Sara asks, “They sure have a comprehensible problem wouldn’t you say? ”
Yes, from my understanding of scriptures, anyone outside the kingdom has this problem …Ephesians 4:18 (CSB) says “They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.”
Final question, “Now what?” I read in John 8, “Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” (vs 47) …” For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does.” (vs 44). That seems to clearly say there cannot be communication between Light and darkness.
“Now What? “If I truly believe I am a “you” and I do, I have much work to do in communication and deeds with the “those.”
Goal is to use every opportunity available to blur the lines of you and those so all will be in the you column.
Sara, when you say “blur the lines of you and those”, a scripture comes to mind, for me. (NASV) John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Am I understanding what you mean?
Tammy, I believe you make a valid point. and, an interesting one to ponder.
And also, blur the lines of ‘ the you and the those’ could additionally mean…. blur the distinctive line of demarcation between the ones who hear and understand, heed and obey [ The YOU] and the ones who merely hear and go merrily on their way [no root & no fruit….The THEY] And become more darkened in their souls.
The answer to the question ”NOW WHAT ?” is a bit trickier. Like Sara said it is the distinction or the line of demarcation between light and darkness. How do we confront the darkness….with what Light do we ”approach” them? Do we reach them by acting like the world so that we would be considered ”cool” and ”in” ? Or? How does the Word of God tell us to confront the ”darkness” 2Cor. 4:6-7 says,
[For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
“We [that’s the YOU in this blog] now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. Also Paul says in Ephesians 5… Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. And do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.”
So there is a clue, there. All things that are exposed BY THE LIGHT become visible…..and thus, will become LIGHT.
So in order to bring souls into the LIGHT of the Countenance of Jesus Christ there has GOT to be communication. Not by power, might or man’s devices but by the Holy Spirit we approach those in darkness….more often than not…members of our own household ….with help of the Holy Spirit Who enables us… not in our own power but moved by the Spirit of the Living God.
Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15) nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.…”
When I focus on our blog scripture I understand the those onside have to come into the HOUSE! Our scripture here of light, again, give light to those inside the house. Also, they can’t perceive or see or hear. This is very provoking to me!
In thinking on what you wrote above, it gave me new meaning for Matthew 5:14 when you said, “I understand the those onside have to come into the HOUSE!”. If I understood correctly as I studied out ‘house’, this verse from Hebrews 3:6 seems to connect ?…”But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.”
This seemed to connect back to the blog scripture chapter from Mark 4 where it said, ” Later, when Jesus was alone with the twelve disciples and with the others who were gathered around, they asked him what the parables meant.” (and he told them)…and “34 In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.” So “light to all who are in the house.” meaning …that you have to be with Him in His house to get the Light?
WOW Debi, grab your guitar and sing, Come and let us go up to the house of the Lord and there….something will happen?
“Come and let us go up to the house of the Lord and there….something will happen?”
Yes, Sara, as the chorus goes on to say when we go to the house of the Lord….”…and He will teach of us His ways; and we will walk in His paths; and the law shall go forth from Zion; and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”