Have you ever read part of the Bible and thought, “now, wait a minute, that’s not fair!”? In Matthew 13:10-17, Jesus says that He spoke in parables so that the people would not understand. This got me to thinking about how easy it is for us to misunderstand the Bible. I kept on reading, and in Matthew 13:18 Jesus tells the disciples the explaination for one of the parables that He told. Later, in verse 36 the disciples ask Jesus to explain the parable of the weeds to them, so He does. It seems to me that the disciples didn’t understand the parables either. Jesus had to explain the meaning later.
What is the difference between the disciples who didn’t understand and the crowd that didn’t understand? They both heard what Jesus taught and had trouble with the teaching, but the disciples asked Jesus to explain it to them. The disciples cared more about what Jesus taught. They cared enough to humbly ask for it to be explained to them. The crowd didn’t ask for help to understand. I wouldn’t understand the parable either if Jesus hadn’t explained it. We need to ask the Lord to show us the meaning of the Bible passages we read. James 1:5 says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
If we are going to understand God’s Word, He is going to have to help us. God is happy to enlighten us. He gives generously! I think the problem is that we are distracted and more concerned about our own agenda to the point that we don’t give God’s Word much thought. Like the crowd, we hear it and then go on about our day. They weren’t serious about following Jesus. Let’s give God’s Word the priority in our lives and ask Him to give us wisdom – believing that He will! God is good, and He will be glad that we asked!