Mysteries of the Kingdom
An atheist was taking a walk through the woods. ‘What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!’ he said to himself. As he continued walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes. Turning to look, he saw a seven foot grizzly charging towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. Looking over his shoulder he saw that the bear was closing in on him. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster. He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear raising his paw to take a swipe at him. At that instant the atheist cried out: ‘Oh my God!’ Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. It was then that a bright light shone upon the man and a voice came out of the sky saying: ‘You deny my existence for all of these years, teach others I don’t exist and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?’ The atheist looked directly into the light. ‘It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps, could you make the bear a Christian?’ ‘Very well,’ said the voice. The light went out, and the sounds of the forest resumed. And then the bear lowered his paw, bowed his head and spoke: ‘Lord, bless this food which I am about to receive and for which I am truly thankful, Amen.’
And so it goes for many of us, we do not turn to the mystery that God is until we are facing a life threating situation. One of the mysteries of life is how many times we are given the truth of God, yet we let it slip away. It is hard to understand the mysteries of this kingdom called by Jesus the “Kingdom of Heaven,” but there are two ways to understand it. The first way is by being available to receive the knowledge of God and second by heeding that knowledge when we obtain it.
The problem I see is that many of us fail to comprehend or understand the words of Jesus. Many of Jesus’ blessings are concealed in parables which are the essence of understanding the mysteries of the spiritual world. If we can’t appreciate the magnitude of Jesus’ words shared in parables we will miss the message Christ left to help us understand the mysteries of life. One of those parables was about a sower who went out and sowed seeds that fell along the path where birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some 60, some 30. This parable is a key to understanding the mysteries of the kingdom. There are two ways of understanding how to use this key. First we must be, available to God to comprehend His message. This is what Bible study is about. In order to understand Jesus we need to study, pray and meditate on His words. Jesus is like a diamond. Every facet of him contributes to the brilliance of the whole. When we experience sorrow, He brings comfort; when we seek Him, He brings spiritual knowledge; He brings the Kingdom of God. He is many things, yet when it comes to helping us understand the way to heaven and the mysteries of paradise, we have to become disciples first. Not hearers, like the masses or followers of Christ, like many of us, but true believers. Many of us claim to be disciples but are not willing to die, (be reborn in the Spirit) for Christ. Only then will the words of Jesus come clear. Then we will know that the good soil or ground in the “Parable of the Sower,” meant our salvation.
Second, we realize the mysteries of the realm of God by heeding and gripping Jesus’ Words. Jesus said, “As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; who is this he or she who hears the word and understand it? These are the ears of discipleship. To these ears the mysteries of the Kingdom are revealed. These mysteries are not available to the masses or to followers. To whom is it given to know the mysteries of Heaven? To whom is it not given? Those who seek, those who knock at the door of Heaven, those who heed and grip the Word of God – it is given for them. Those who are standing without knocking (followers) – or those whose back is at the gate of Heaven, or those who have become completely oblivious that Heaven exists (Masses) – for them it is not given.
Unless we move in the direction of God as disciples, God cannot move in our direction. This is the key that unlocks the secrets of God. These secrets are revealed to those who have ears to hear and are available to us when we become real Disciples of Christ and are ready to heed, seize, and follow His message.