Are you expectant for what God would speak to you today? If so, get ready! It may be the case that He wants to communicate with you through unconventional means. It may even end up feeling like He’s given you a riddle, or a puzzle to solve. Sometimes His messages seem perplexing or mysterious to us. When we find this to be the case, how He relishes it when we purposefully, attentively search out His meaning!
Holy Spirit often intentionally uses veiled language in sharing His heart with us. Now why would He choose to talk to us this way? Digging into our verse for today, we find Jesus’ explanation for this habit of His. As His disciples exclaimed, He often utilized “obscure figures of speech” as He addressed people (John 16:29, NET). In other words, parables. He wove this kind of coded communication richly and relentlessly into His teaching style. This was His favorite way to impart wisdom to the multitudes that followed Him.
Jesus understood how effective this tool was. For this reason, He implemented it regularly. We are not talking about an occasional parable thrown in at just the right place for effect. Instead, Mark shares with us that He used nothing but parables (Mark 4:34). Frequently, the significance of His metaphors was partially or completely hidden from His listeners. I bet you can imagine them staring blankly at Him, scratching their heads, wondering, What is the Teacher talking about?
Why didn’t He just speak plainly to them?
When His disciples asked Him this question, He had an answer ready for them. Read Mark 4:24 again: “‘Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more.’” Jesus’ goal was to provoke His listeners’ spiritual appetites. He loved to create enticing opportunities for those who were truly spiritually hungry to receive more of God. He purposefully spoke in enigmas, to incite those ravenous ones to carefully unwrap His meaning.
This was entirely more effective than if He were to toss His precious pearls to the masses for free. If spiritual seekers really wanted the pearls, they were going to need to break out their scuba equipment. They were going to have to dedicate the necessary time and energy to dive deep for His treasures.
Jesus knew ahead of time that there would be two kinds of people present in every massive gathering — those who genuinely yearned for His pearls, and those who didn’t. The former were hanging on His every word. The latter were just mingling with the crowd, curious about all the excitement, and hoping for a free lunch.
Jesus called out the distinction between these different sets of individuals. He grouped them into two categories: “Whoever Has,” and “Whoever Does Not Have.” In other words, “Those Who Have an Insatiable Appetite for Truth,” and “Those Who Don’t.” Pointing out the stark contrast between them, He asserted, “For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him” (Mark 4:25, NKJV, emphasis mine).
What a marvelous promise, for those of us thirsty for more of Jesus! When we draw as close as we possibly can to Him, we will be rewarded. When we eagerly inquire of His heart, we will be given more, and more, and more.
Let us, then, be found in the category of the ravenous! Let us dive deep into the waters of the Spirit! Let the voracious cry of our spirits be, Oh Lord Jesus, share Your exquisite pearls with me!
Has God spoken to you in a perplexing way recently?