Those Who Seek will Find
Translated by Allan Liang
Mark 4:33-34 Jesus often used parables to begin his teachings. From the start of the fourth chapter of the gospel of Mark, Jesus employed the sower’s parables and followed with the parable of the lamp and the measuring tools, the parable of the growing seed, and the parable of the mustard seed to speak of the things of the kingdom of heaven. Why did Jesus like to use parables in his preachings? Jesus explained this to his disciples: “the secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ” (Mark 4:11-12) These words that Jesus spoke often causes some Christians to feel confused. God loves the world, didn’t he come in order to save sinners? All people of this world have sinned and need to be saved, is not saving people an act of love? This being the case, why did Jesus preach the gospel in a way that would intentionally cause some to not understand, and later speak differently to his disciples? This is not fair! Moreover, this is clearly not a momentary lapse of judgment or slip of tongue. In today’s scripture we read a similar message: “With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.” (Mark 4:33-34) Dear brothers and sisters, please do not come to hurried conclusions. When we come across passages in our scripture readings that cannot be understood according to the wisdom of man, this both exposes the ignorance caused by sin and reveals the calling from God to have us discard all human intellect and pride, so that we may humbly come to his word and ask for grace in all its mysteries and wisdom. What we as Christians must confess and greatly offer up as thanks is: were it not by God’s mercy and enlightening, we would stumble before these “difficult” words, and unconsciously wander into a mode of selective attention to scripture, causing us to no longer take time to seek and come before the comprehensive grace and truth of God. Though we may have been Christians for many years, our growth is inhibited and we can only drink milk, unable to consume solid food. Dear brother and sisters, the word of Jesus and the cross came among man both to save and to judge. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”(1 Corinthians 1:18) The salvation of Christ is a beam of light, shining in this dark world, “and he separated the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:4). Consequently, people of the world will certainly divide into two groups before the gospel of Christ. Those in Christ will receive the grace of heaven, while those outside of Christ will receive the judgment of hell. God’s glory in those who are being saved is revealed as grace and mercy, and in those destined to doom it is revealed as his righteousness and holiness. Dear brothers and sisters, how can you have the assurance of being one saved by the grace of Jesus Christ? There is no other way but to examine if you pray for God to give you a heart that seeks after him, a heart that understands and obeys his word. For Jesus said: “for everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:10) Please meditate with prayer: How did I first come to know God? Since that time, have I made reading scripture and listening to God’s words a first priority in my life? I have made the effort to carefully read through the Bible at least once? In this time of pandemic, have I reflected more upon this? May God give us a heart that desires and thirsts after his word, and may he add to us the ability better understand his word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.