With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
The understanding of this passage is actually very important to us as believers. It holds the key to a greater depth of insight into the Lord’s work in our lives.
But first, we have to know what is meant by a parable. According to Nelson’s Bible Dictionary*, a parable is a “short, simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth…in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences.”
If we want to truly understand our walk with God, then we need to be able to draw spiritual truth from everyday experiences. This is a big part of getting insight into the Word of God.
This was a big part of Jesus’ ministry to His disciples. He spoke the parables to the crowds. They observed the natural world examples. But in private, the disciples were given the truths that these parables illustrated.
I’ve said it before; the ministry of Jesus to His disciples was equivalent to the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us today. What Jesus did then, is what the Holy Spirit wants to do now, if we’re seeking and listening. After all, most of the time the disciples asked the Lord to explain these parables to them.
We go through many different experiences in our lives. How often do we ask the Lord to explain them to us? Please understand, I’m not talking about the “Why me!” type of questions. I’m talking about turning our daily walk into a learning time with the Holy Spirit.
Let me give you an example. If you don’t already know it, I’m an avid hiker. I love spending a week or more on the trail. The fact is that walking is probably the most used illustration of spiritual truth in the Bible.
As I hike, I pray to, worship, and praise God. I ask Him for wisdom and insight. Along the way, the Lord has used my hiking experiences to give me tremendous insight into the Christian walk. Many of the truths of Scripture directly coincide with walking long distances.
But probably the most important part of this whole discussion is the fact that this happened while Jesus was alone with His disciples. The things that were in parable form were hidden from most people. But the Lord wanted the disciples to understand them.
The word explained, in the above verse means to untie a knot. It’s something that stays bound up unless you actively work at it. In this case, it means spending time, in private, with the Holy Spirit. It’s in those times that we can receive insight into our walk with God.
Do you seek to understand Scriptural truth from your daily activities? Did you even know that this was available to you? Spend quality time in God’s presence listening for His explanations of what you’ve been through. It will open up your spiritual eyes.
Question: What spiritual insight have you gotten from your daily experiences?
*From Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi