And He said, “To you, it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’ (Luke 8:10 NKJV)
The word mysteries doesn’t refer to religious secrets or things that are hard to understand, but rather about divine revelation that, in the past, has been dismally and joylessly understood.1 These mysteries are now fully published in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Parables are given to reveal and to conceal, presenting mysteries to those who are spiritual who know and relish them, but not to those who are insensible to spiritual things—who may think them merely an entertaining story.1
According to one Bible teacher: “While many of the illustrations which Christ used were designed to make plain the truth, parables were intended to reveal the truth only to believers and required explanation in order to understand them. In a sense, they were riddles which required a key, but supplied with the key, the truth became prophetically eloquent.”2
And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.”3
In order to hear and understand the mysteries of the kingdom, a person must love Jesus and come alive to the truths of life in Christ. We must love the approval of God more than the approval of men.
As Jesus’ disciples, we won’t learn everything all at once. We come to understand the mysteries of the kingdom as we walk in fellowship with the Lord, and as we serve Him. We also may come under criticism or ridicule for being a Christian. In the midst of these types of life experiences, we must keep listening to the Lord.
Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, and He told us that the Spirit would guide us into all truth.4 His divine power has given us everything that we need for life and godliness.5 This is truly a divine mystery!
1 Jamieson, Fausset & Brown commentary on Mt 8:11 and Mt 11:25
2 From the series: Matthew Thy Kingdom Come, Article contributed by www.walvoord.com
3 Mark 4:11-12
4 John 16:13
5 2 Peter 1:3