Understanding the Will of God
Chris' Corner -- July 11, 2021
We find parables in both the Old and New Testaments. Remember Nathan’s parable of the coldhearted rich man who took a poor man’s pet lamb for his own (2 Samuel 12:1-12)? The prophet applied the story to David after he took another man’s wife.
New Testament parables are more familiar to us. Jesus spoke most of them. Some of the lessons applied to those who believed and were trying to live godly. Others condemned those who refused to believe and obey.
By speaking in parables, Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. “All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:34-35; cf. Psalm 78:2).
In Matthew 13:11–13, Jesus explained to His disciples why He spoke in parables. ”...Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”
Jesus used parables to distinguish between those who believed from those who didn’t. The application of the parable would be known by those who wanted to understand. However, those who may have heard the story yet found no real need to obey, would miss the whole point of the parable’s deeper meaning.
We all fall into one of these two categories. Either we genuinely want to know, or we don’t. Some will have spiritual discernment and apply the lesson to their lives, while others will not. They are satisfied with their calloused and stubborn lives. Either way, it will be our choice.
If we have trouble understanding what we’re reading in our Bible, we need to pause and pray. Ask the Lord to give us an understanding heart (Psalm 119:34).
Long ago, God encouraged Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
We should never be satisfied with a mere casual reading of scripture. Let’s spend more serious time and study in the Word of God. Concentrating and meditating on what we’re reading goes a long way in retaining the message.
Paul told Timothy, “Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13). “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).