He taught them many things in parables…Mark 4:2 NET
Have you ever thought that Jesus was difficult to understand? Why can’t it just be black and white? Why can’t everything just be clear, straight to the point, and easy to comprehend? Imagine the confused looks on the faces of many in the crowds as Jesus spoke about one of his parables. Our Savior preferred teaching with stories and parables, some of them seem like riddles at times, seemingly with no right answers or clear points. Why did Jesus do this? The practical part of my answer is simple. In a society where most could not read or write, parables and memorable stories were the primary way people learned things. Still today, in underdeveloped parts of the world, missionaries use stories to teach people Biblical truths. Stories and parables are also memorable. Ask someone to tell you five of the laws mentioned in the book of Leviticus and see how many the average Christian can recite. Ask them to list all the parables of Christ they can recall and it is sure to eclipse the other. Finally, stories engage people and cause them to think about things. Christ did not want to just teach these people, he wanted them to apply it to their lives. When they are forced to think through a situation or story and search for an answer, they are more likely to apply it to their lives and personalize the meaning of the parable. In part I believe that this is why things are not always crystal clear for the modern day disciple either. Jesus wants us to wrestle with things, and work through things ourselves to a certain degree so that they become personal lessons that we will never forget. So next time you don’t understand Jesus, remember that you are not the first to find yourself in that position. Keep in mind that there is a divine purpose and plan behind every lesson Christ desires to teach us even if we can’t see it or understand it at that exact moment.
You are doing great with the New Testament Bible challenge. Keep it up as we move through the book of Mark.