Riddles or Parables?…
For those without faith, Christ’s teachings brought more questions than answers:
And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables. He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that ‘they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'” -Mark 4:10-12, NAB
Christ’s parables, as beautiful as they may seem to us, confused those who did not have faith. Even today, for those who do not believe, His teachings may still be a mystery to them. The parables He taught are more like riddles to them, and they will struggle to understand their meaning.
In the parable of the sowing of the seed from Mark 4:3-8, for someone without faith, it may make little sense. To them, the story is just about some seed that fell on the ground, but to us, it’s a beautiful explanation of how to grow our faith on the right soil.
Some will ask, “Why would Jesus teach in a way that some would not understand?” Well, it is not His choice for them to not understand – it is their choice. By rejecting the basic truths of our faith, they are giving up the ability to grasp the deeper meaning of Christ’s teaching.
Our ability to understand Christ’s teachings, including His parables, is yet another grace that we receive from God. Through the Holy Spirit, we are given a wisdom and understanding that we would not otherwise have. May we use our wisdom and understanding to share Jesus’ beautiful message with the world – to all who are willing to hear.