Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Kernel (Mark 4:30-34)

The last of the Kingdom parables in this section is relatively simple and clear. The Kingdom of God starts small and unseen, yet it will eventually grow to be a home and a shelter to all. What begins with a simple, wonderful story will change the world. But Jesus doesn’t teach this principle directly. He tells His stories:

“With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”

It seems Jesus did all His public proclamation of the Kingdom this way. He was cryptic. He tossed out crumbs that could lead people to the truth. He only clarified and expounded His message for those who followed. Those who believed.

The Biblical message is about faith, not understanding. It is about trust, not knowledge. Over and over again in Mark we see a process where Jesus finds His people, those looking for the truth. Once we belong to God’s kingdom we begin our journey of understanding, but that trip starts—and really is all about—belief. Jesus did not present a logical case for His Kingdom that would convince people on the evidence. He shared an understanding of the world that would resonate with those who were inclined to hear.

Today we do things very differently. We try to convince people of a truth that cannot be seen. We try to make the Gospel a reasonable and logical alternative to all the other ideologies men have cooked up. Instead of appealing to reason, we need to awaken faith. We are not here to debate, we have been sent to tell a story.

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