Scripture Reading: Luke 8:1-15
If the gospel has the power to transform lives and change the world, ideally it would be easy to understand and communicate. So why does Jesus go out of his way to talk about the good news of God’s kingdom in parables and cryptic metaphors? What’s with all the doublespeak and allegory? Why does he seem intent on keeping some people in the dark?
The Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and the Book of Revelation employ phrases like “ears to hear” and “eyes to see” to indicate that spiritual truths are rarely obvious and simple. Apocalyptic literature was written in code in order to spread subversive and radical visions that challenge the status quo. Jesus’ parables are like Zen kōans that bend our minds and challenge us to think about the world in new ways.
Whether it is reading the Bible, engaging popular culture, experiencing nature, or navigating relationships, those with ears to hear and eyes to see know that the way of Jesus draws us beyond superficialities. It seems that God wants us to work a little as we grow in faith. After all, if spirituality and wisdom were simply handed to us they wouldn’t be nearly as meaningful.
The gospel may not be a quick fix or a catchy sound bite, but it does transform lives and change the world. As Jesus puts it, with patient endurance it bears much fruit.
Gracious God, give me eyes to see and ears to hear the mysteries of your love for us in Jesus Christ. Amen.
This was published last week as a Fourth Church Daily Devotion.