“The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Verse 11 (NIV)
I remember well spending extra evenings at language school trying to figure out some of our lessons. Naomi caught on right away, but Kiswahili was going to take some time to sink into my brain. When we got to Nygezi, Tanzania, where we would work and live, the constant exposure to the language finally made the lessons from school understandable. Even though I became quite comfortable conversing in Kiswahili, I realized in a short time that I would not be able to preach in Kiswahili because Biblical terminology (things like sin, righteousness, grace, redemption, etc.) was not part of everyday conversational speech and the flow of a sermon was completely different than having a conversation.
Our verse for today is stated in a slightly different way in the gospel of Mark. In Mark 4:11, Jesus states, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables.”
Jesus called his disciples, and they followed along with him as their teacher. They were willing to spend time with him and learn from him constantly. In fact, they spent all their time with him, and eventually they learned and began to understand his purposes. They knew what it meant to live continuously in his presence.
To those who are willing to live fully in his kingdom, Jesus gives the secrets of the kingdom. But all who are not willing to turn to Jesus, and to ask and learn why he has come, will stand at the edge of the kingdom, unable to understand the nuances, the mysteries, the fulness of love that flows from the Father in heaven.
Do you need to press further in? Do you need to spend more time listening to the whispers that Jesus speaks to your heart? He wants us to turn to him and be forgiven, and to have life to the full! This is the only condition for life in his kingdom.
Lord Jesus, help me to press into you and immerse myself in the full life of your kingdom. In your name, Amen.