Mysterious Gifts

“Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough…

my-gift-1427426-640x480

“But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear! For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see and yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them” (Matthew 13:11-12, 16-17 HCSB).

Matthew 13 and its parallels (Mark 4, Luke 8) record Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom in parables. In the middle of teaching the parable of the sower, He explains to His disciples why He teaches “indirectly” through parables instead of “plainly.” His answer is, “It’s a secret.”

The word translated secret is mysterion, which is where we get the word “mystery.” The mysteries of the Kingdom are not puzzles that have to be solved, but truth that can only be revealed. Mysteries are truths that are behind the curtain, in a sense, and God graciously invites His people to take a look.

The fact that we have an entire, thick, book of God’s inspired, authoritative, inerrant word is itself an immeasurable kindness from God to us. The problem is, it’s often hard to understand, and it’s not clear how it’s supposed to benefit us.

But notice where Jesus goes next: “For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough” (13:12 HCSB, emphasis added).

What do we have, and what are we getting more of? What will we have more than enough of?

Understanding. Wisdom. Insight. Truth.

If you have been born again, you have been given eyes to see and ears to hear (see Matthew 13:16-17). That means you already have, and more will be given to you. In fact, you’ll have “more than enough” truth from God’s word to ponder, to marvel at, to praise Him for, to convict you, to teach you, to lead you, to mature you, to…everything.

In fact, you have more than even the Old Testament prophets and saints did: “Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them” (13:17 HCSB, emphasis added).

You’re the envy of the entire Old Testament Church!

What this means is that every one of us who has been born again has the promise, the guarantee, from Jesus Himself, that your time in the Word is not wasted. Everyone who has, more will be given to him.

And the Kingdom of God will grow in your heart, and it will yield a bountiful harvest. Jesus promises to give the gift of His secrets, His mysteries, His truth.

In other words, He promises to give Himself (John 14:6).

Advertisements

Faith vs. Sight, Wisdom vs. Foolishness

Trust in Yahweh with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways,
and He will guide you on the right paths.
Don’t consider yourself to be wise;
fear Yahweh and turn away from evil (Proverbs 3:5-7 HCSB)

Proverbs 3:5-6 have been loved and memorized by saints immemorial, and it’s easy to see why. In Solomon’s expected pithy power, he reminds us of the need to live by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Continue reading “Faith vs. Sight, Wisdom vs. Foolishness”

Anselm’s Prayer

HT: James K.A. Smith

Lord Jesus Christ; Let me seek You by desiring You,
and let me desire You by seeking You;
let me find You by loving You,
and love You in finding You.
I confess, Lord, with thanksgiving
that You have made me in Your image,
so that I can remember You, think of You, and love You.
But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless You renew and refashion it.
Lord, I am not trying to make my way to Your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of Your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.
I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe, I shall not understand.

— Anselm of Canterbury