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Alone with Jesus

Mark 4.33-34
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Mark made clear that he did not record all of Jesus’ parables—there were probably too many to record. So he explained that Jesus spoke the Word (that is, God’s message) to them (the crowds, including the disciples). In addition this master teacher taught as much as they could understand. Jesus adapted His methods to His audience’s ability and desire to understand. He didn’t speak in parables to confuse people, but to challenge sincere seekers to discover the meaning of His words. Jesus knew that some of the “seed” He sowed would fall on good soil (i.e., people to whom God had given the ability to hear and believe).

The crowds, in general, greatly misunderstood Jesus. If they did believe He was the promised Messiah, they thought He had come to free them from Roman oppression. The “kingdom” they wanted was an earthly kingdom of their own free from Rome’s grasp. Jesus’ parables helped to separate the curious bystanders from the honest seekers, so when He spoke to the crowds He did not speak to them except in parables. As explained in 4.2-3, Jesus spoke in parables to the crowds (4.1), but explained everything in private to His disciples (see 4.10). The disciples here are specifically the Twelve. Jesus explained everything. Nothing went unexplained or unanswered. Jesus did not hide anything from His disciples. He wanted them to know and understand the truth about Himself, His mission, and His teachings.

Like Jesus’ first disciples, we cannot fully understand His Word without spending time in His Word. Like the early disciples, we need to “get alone with Jesus” so that we can prayerfully ruminate over His teaching and learn to apply it well to our lives. Are you spending quality time with the Lord? Sometimes quality time can only be achieved through quantity of time. I encourage you to set aside 30 minutes each day to read, study, and pray over God’s glorious and eternal Word. It’s the only way to truly grow in Him.

Pastor Jeff
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