The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables. (Mark 4:11)
Every year it’s harder to keep secrets from our kids. At first, whispering worked well for my husband and me. Around preschool-age, those little ears grew superpowers; we were forced to start writing notes to each other. Texts and sticky notes relayed the hush-hush messages. When kindergarten arrived, those kids magically learned how to read the silent e and leap words, so our secret conversations turned to pig Latin and remnants of high school Spanish. Some of the conversations we tried to hide were sensitive; others would have brought more questions than our kids needed to ask or required maturity they hadn’t quite reached.
Jesus also had some need-to-keep-hush news about the kingdom of God. If he’d told his kingdom stories outright, without the parable packaging, not only would the authorities of his day have been outraged, but those he’d grown up with would have been sorely surprised too. The kingdom Jesus offered, masked in mystery and parable, was drastically different than they’d imagined and available to all who heard the stories. Yet only those who understood the hidden truths would even think about turning and being forgiven. And understanding would take effort, more than many would want to expend.
I’ll let you in on a secret: We also must expend some energy to understand Jesus’ kingdom stories, for they’re his best kept secrets, and still available if we listen well.
Ask Jesus to open your ears to his kingdom secrets.
Jamie Hilty is a Wesleyan pastor’s kid. She currently serves with her pastor-husband in Goshen, Indiana, and has served as a contributing writer for Annesley Writer’s Forum.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.