Unpacking the Mysteries: Matthew 13:10-13
“10) And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11) Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12) For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13) Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭13‬:‭10‬-‭13‬ ‭
After sharing the parable of the sower, Jesus stepped out of the boat for a short huddle with His disciples. He was not done speaking to the crowd, but the disciples gathered around Him with a question; “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
As the explanation unfolds, Jesus gave a two part answer. Because of time and space, we shall look at each of them separately. For today, let’s focus on verses 10-13.
In these verses, Jesus implies that those who believe in Him have been granted capacity to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but others have not. The natural man remains blind and deaf to the gospel and biblical truth and reality. They embrace the worlds wisdom.
This theme is developed at length in the Epistles. This was the theme of the first three chapters of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. I highly encourage you to study 1 Corinthians 1:18-3:23 with the question of spiritual blindness in mind.
In the text, Paul compares the blindness of the unregenerate to the Spirit directed illumination of believers. In chapter one he argues that the world through it’s philosophy and secular wisdom will never arrive at the truth of the gospel. Then in chapter two he presents the case that the Holy Spirit guides the spiritual man and woman into deep revelation about the mysteries of God which the natural man can neither know or perceive. Finally in chapter three, he warns of the blinding affect of carnality on those who claim to know Jesus Christ but still live as captives to sin.
The Apostle John also speaks on this theme in 1 John 2:25-29. In these verses he talks of the anointing that abides on the children of God and how it teaches them all things. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would assume this teaching role in the life of believers. (See John 14:26-27)
So how does this relate to why Jesus taught in parables? It was His way of laying out truth for the Holy Spirit to apply to the heart and mind of believers, but at the same time the unregenerate would remain deaf and blind to the mysteries of the kingdom.
I have heard it said that the Bible is Gods love letter to His Children, but it makes no sense to strangers. Why? They are not in tune with precious family values and communications. It makes no sense to them. If you want to understand the Bible, you must first become part of the family of God!
In John chapter 10, Jesus pictured Himself as the good shepherd. He knows His own and they know Him. In verses 25-30 Jesus explained that His sheep hear His voice and follow Him. By contrast, those who are not His sheep neither know nor understand His voice. Because of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, His sheep know and understand His voice and His ways.
Every true believer will hunger and thirst for the Word of God. As they seek Jesus and study His Word, the Holy Spirit steps into His active role as teacher. They will pant after God’s Word as the deer pants for the water brook.
If God’s Word is closed and a mystery to you, it is because you are not in a right relationship with God. You can be religious and still be blind and deaf. You need to be born-again and filled with the Spirit of God! Settle the issue of salvation before you attempt to understand the Bible.
If you are a born-again Christian, grab your Bible and carve out significant time to spend with God in the reading and study of His Word. Invite the Holy Spirit to teach and guide you. Spend time daily in His presence with your Bible open and your spirit tuned into Jesus.
Don’t measure the time, rather seek a deep encounter with God through His Word. Be patient and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ through His Word. If you yearn for more to be given to you, invest more time at the feet of Jesus in the study of His Word.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global