It was almost as if much of Jesus’ teaching ministry consisted of riddles. He “hid everything in plain sight” by using symbolic language to convey His Kingdom truths. His goal was to lovingly provoke His hearers to dig deeper. His constant use of parables made it necessary to unearth nuggets of wisdom from within each story He crafted. He did not spoon feed His listeners; they had to actively engage with His material to glean from it.
Those with avid spiritual appetites must have gone home pondering on the underlying meanings of His illustrations. Jesus assured them that the hungry and thirsty ones craving righteousness would be filled. No doubt God met them in rich and meaningful ways, as they searched out what He was wanting to communicate to them.
However, there was a select group to whom Jesus gave detailed explanations of His parables: His disciples. For them and them alone did He break down each figure of speech and carefully unpack its meaning. When did this happen? Look again: “…When he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.”
When they were alone. When they were in their intimate, private space together.
Jesus has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As He did then, He leaves the door open for us, saying, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23, NKJV). If we want to be His disciples, it will cost us everything. But what we gain – the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven – will exceedingly surpass anything that we give up to belong to His inner circle.
Do you want to be in Jesus’ intimate, private space? Will you take up your cross and follow Him? Will you get alone with Him today?
Does it sometimes seem to you that God is speaking to you in riddles? If so, how do you respond to that?