In Matthew 13:10-17, Jesus explained to the disciples that he taught in parables “because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” The word “mysteries,” suggests a natural occurrence with a spiritual counterpart. The divine message is revealed to those who are in a position to understand the truth contained in the Gospel. In other words, the divine message is shown to those who have faith that the message is plausible.
Upon grasping the divine message, those who are open to receiving it lose their spiritual blindness, the light illuminates the gospel, and the essential insight becomes clear and brilliant, blocking out the darkness of ignorance and prejudgment. Jesus said, if you abide in my Word, “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
As the disciples began to understand the Word on one level, they became better equipped to receive a revelation of deeper meanings. As they searched diligently for a purpose in the Word, they were forced to exercise their belief, and their faith muscles grew stronger in the process. But to others who did not value spiritual things, the mysteries in the Gospel were little more than stories, sources of entertainment to be enjoyed for a moment.
It’s important to understand that Jesus’ parables about the kingdom are presented in two phases, one in which the kingdom is already present and one in which it is yet to come. Scripture tells us what the yet-to-come eternal kingdom will be like. But what about the kingdom that is already present? How do we recognize heaven on earth? Because Jesus described it to us in figurative language, we can look at the ancient text and glean a message for the modern day. In this regard, through parables, the Word is still speaking. Let’s take a closer look at the Word of God in the next segment of this series.