“Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:10-13
Good morning friends! I had a last minute opportunity to take the McGriff Party of 5 camping this weekend so I’m writing to you from my chair in the woods. If this post smells like a campfire, please grab a marshmallow and enjoy! There is just so much for us to soak up in Matthew 13 but I wanted to write to you today about verses 10-13. When I first read this part of scripture, when I was new to Bible reading I interpreted Jesus’ words differently than I do now. At first I thought Jesus was telling his disciples that not all people are chosen that there are only a few “lucky” ones. Now that I am reading through a different lens, I see that it is usthat must choose Him.
Recently I suffered a great disappointment. And by suffered, I mean suffered. It was the kind thing where I was left feeling singled out, rejected and just plain not worthy. To make things worse, many of my friends were selected to do the thing, the thing that I thought I wanted so badly. When the judgment came down I felt the feels. I cried the tears and mourned the loss. I told myself a story about the loser I am and I believed it. Have you ever told yourself that story? Have you ever thought of yourself as not as good as other Christians? Have you compared yourself to others and thought, I’ll never be as close to God as they are? After losing the thing a few good people in my life talked with me about who I really am. They reminded me that I am a child of God, that I am surrounded by abundance. I prayed and prayed for things to go my way but I wasn’t truly seeing. All of us who give our lives to Jesus have also been given the secret to the kingdom. It isn’t that the disciples were perfect people hand-picked by Jesus to be the perfect Christians. On the contrary, they were imperfect people that gave their life to Christ in an extraordinary, all-in kind of way. They committed despite having to live the everyday reality that we can’t see or hear God’s plan.
When it comes to my big disappointment, what I was lacking is understanding. Ok, maybe I’m still lacking it. Although I can see many great opportunities to be the hands and feet of Jesus in my future, I can’t really understand why God would skip over this one. And although I can hear the encouragement of Christian elders in my life that say, “wait for it, this plan will be revealed it’s just not time yet.” It’s still really hard to understand. What I can take away from our scripture today is that if I make that commitment to follow Him, I will have and experience more abundance in my life. If I choose to turn away, more could be taken from me. The disciples asked Jesus, why he speaks in parables. I think maybe as broken, fallen people we relate more to the story than we do the harsh words of truth. The truth is, I wasn’t chosen this time but I’m always chosen by God. You will always be His child no matter what hurt, sadness, loss or pain you’re experiencing. Jesus still talks with us in parables or stories. When we are willing to share those stories with one another I think we get closer to Him. So, I hope you’ll share your personal parable this week with someone that needs to hear it. I pray that God blesses you with abundance and then more. Have a great (holiday) Monday!