July 7, 2021

Why didn’t Jesus just say what he meant?

Our daily devotions this week are focused on Mark 4, which is mostly stories Jesus told to communicate a truth or explain a concept. Verses 33 and 34 actually say that he didn’t say anything to people without saying it in a parable. So let’s read one of those parables together.

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

As we read this passage again, reflect on this question. What point is he trying to make in this parable, and why did Jesus use a story to make his point, instead of just saying it?

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

Before you get back to your busy day, let me encourage you to spend another couple of minutes just sitting in quietness with the parable of the growing seed. And as you do, here’s one other question to consider. Do you think Jesus was trying to make it harder or easier to understand his point by using a story? I often assume he was trying to make it easier, but verse 34 says Jesus would explain the stories to his disciples later in private. So maybe they weren’t as easy to understand as we think. Why would he want to make his point harder to understand? That’s certainly something to chew on. God bless.

 

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