[Jesus replied to the disciples,] "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.'"
Then Jesus said to them, "If you can't understand the meaning of this parable, how will you understand all the other parables?"
— Mark 4:11-13 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 worldview that arises from our faith. For instance: Christians see the story of the cross as a story of great power and sacrifice; non-Christians see it as something gross, gruesome, awful, ghastly, violent, appalling, horrific, or nonsensical. Jesus was preparing his specially selected followers for their ministries. He was focusing on giving them messages they could understand, but those outside their group would not understand. This situation 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 much of what I dearly believe. Please give me the 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 his 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 series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show 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.