"I do this so that: 'They will look and look, but never really see; they will listen and listen, but never understand. If they saw and understood, they might change and be forgiven.'" Then Jesus said to the followers, "Do you understand this story? If you don't, then how will you understand any story?
— Mark 4:12-13 NLT
Certain messages are appropriate for those who are inside the faith, but make no sense to those outside the faith. These messages are not going to be understandable to those who do not share our faith and our world view that arises from our faith. For instance: Christians see the story of the Cross as a story of great power; non-Christians see it as something gross, gruesome, awful, ghastly, violent, appalling, or horrific. Jesus is preparing his specially selected followers for their ministries. He is focusing on giving them messages they can understand, but those outside their group will not. This is a great reminder that those who do not know Jesus will not understand many things we believe, teach, and say. We shouldn't get discouraged; this has always been true. Rather than becoming frustrated, we need to give thanks that God has made these things known to us and then find effective ways to introduce the people in our world to the grace of Jesus so that one day each of them can share in Jesus' truth.
Father, I know that many people in the world do not understand many of the things I dearly believe. Please give me patience and courage to face their questions, attacks, and rejections. Use me to break down the barriers that are erected between them and me so that they can come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Luke 10:21
- 1 Corinthians 2:9-15
- Colossians 1:25-26
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.