There is an ongoing tension between the mysteries of God and the revelations of God. There are many people that struggle with God because it seems so much is hidden.
In the beginning, the church struggled with people who took the saving knowledge of Christ, and then had “secret” revelations that went along with it (usually with a price or other sort of loyalty). The results of some of this, were what are called Gnostic or Heretical “gospels” that are built upon that so-called secret knowledge. To this day, some of these books still cause trouble in the church and mislead those who cannot discern God’s Word.
As we read in Numbers, the three siblings (Aaron, Miriam, Moses) went before God. Aaron and Miriam (Moses’ older siblings) thought that they should be just as important as Moses. Whether it was a pursuit of honor, or even the cultural expectation of being older, it didn’t impress God.
God even differentiated between them (along with later prophets) and Moses by saying that only Moses received straight words. Everyone else would have to deal with riddles, visions, and dreams. In other words, those that received clear answers would be very few, and would have other miraculous acts that accompanied these words.
Even Jesus spoke in parables (riddles). Some scholars have speculated that if Jesus had revealed too much too early, the completion of the mission (the crucifixion and resurrection) would have not occurred. In other words, people’s immediate understanding would have short-circuited the ultimate plan of God…the plan of salvation.
We all understand that what we knew as children was simple (barring a few geniuses). It is the same with our faith. Our faith grows. As it grows, deepens, and matures we begin to truly wrestle with the parables.
It is this wrestling that helps us grow stronger.
Even the 12 that were the closest to Jesus, and even the 3 who were closest, still didn’t get it all the time. And that was without parables. Sometimes, Jesus spoke straightforwardly, and they didn’t get it.
Lord, we want to understand. Help us when we just want the answers rather than to learn them. Help us to be grace-filled towards those who are learning your Truths. Amen.
1) What was the hardest question you’ve ever had to answer? What made it hard?
2) What things can make a question hard?
3) What do you think of when you hear, “there is no such thing as a dumb question”? How do you think that applies to the parables of Jesus?