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Reflections On “A Ransom For Many” — 5

Daniel Tan

Mark 4:1-34

Parables. Each of these parables in the chapter are worth a whole exploration on its own. They are analogies pointing back to scriptures and drive across a point that the rabbi wishes the listeners to take away.

The Parable of the Sower (more appropriately named the Parable of the Soil), talks about four kinds of soil which demonstrates four kinds of people when receiving lessons. The path that hears but does not listen, rocky soil that needs to be tilled before it is even ready to accept seed, thorny soil that is choked by the worries of the world and fertile soil that allows for the seed to take root and grow.

When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “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 4:10-12)

The rationale for Jesus teaching in parables was to make it “confusing” for those who do not seek him. The truths were heard by them, but not understood. Christianity isn't supposed to be served on a silver platter to everyone. Everyone is given the chance to hear the truth, but it is not understood by those who do not open their hearts to Jesus. We need to put in effort to grasp the knowledge. But why would God make it hard for us to understand if he sent Jesus down to give us a chance?

Well, because the Kingdom isn't meant for those who don't put in effort. In the same way that you’ll put in the effort if you are to meet an important person, it would be beyond rude to come as if you were lepaking (relaxing) at home when we greet the Creator of the universe. We have to have the proper attitude. The road through Christianity is difficult. This is how Jesus sifts those who wish to enter the kingdom from those who do not: a willingness to learn and understand.

And for those who seek to understand him, and genuinely make the effort to do so, the Bible is not hard to understand. All of us are equipped with the tools to delve and to attempt comprehension of the parables. Whether or not we reach a conclusion depends on how willing we are to put in the effort.

In the same vein, we should put our effort into evangelism and spreading the gospel, but whether or not people are receptive is not up to us. At the end of the day we are not held accountable for how many people were not receptive. We are held accountable for how many people were receptive but we did not spread the message to.

Daniel Tan

Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.