Thursday, July 28, 2011

Knowing the Mysteries

After Jesus told the parable of "The Sower and the Seed," the disciples came to Him, saying, "Huh? We don't get it. Explain, please. Why do You tell these parables anyhow?" And He answered, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven...."

Really? You'd think not. After all, they don't get it and they have to ask. They also don't get it when Jesus says He has to go up to Jerusalem and die. Even after the resurrection, at Jesus' ascension, they don't get it: "So NOW are You going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"

But Jesus said it's been given to His disciples to know the mysteries. As long as we know Jesus, we know. We may not understand details. Without a good teacher, we may be bamboozled by parables. We may listen to our human reason and our experiences more than we listen to God's word. But as long as we know Jesus and His mercy, as long as we cling to Him and His forgiveness, we know the mysteries. Even when it might appear we don't.


  1. Yeah... it really kills me when we read the Scriptures and it uses the word "know" and we essentially substitute in its place the word "understand" or "know the facts of" - as though factual knowledge is the only knowledge that counts.

    Equating knowledge with knowing the facts is nothing more than an Enlightenment Era "discovery" and I am certain that when others use it pre-Enlightenment (including in the Scriptures) they do not mean it the way we take it.

    Knowing is communion, just like Adam knowing Eve meant to be in communion with His wife (and that means more than just sex). Knowing the mysteries has everything to do with communion with God. We can be more specific, and it does not preclude a certain amount of head knowledge, but to equate "knowing" and "factual information" as though they're one and the same would have seemed just plain silly (even ludicrous) to almost any person of that period.

    I think the same is true of the Early Fathers, many of the Lutheran Fathers (especially Luther himself), and those earlier and in between.

    I think it also shows us something about our world today, that we've taken that word and made it all about facts and (essentially) scientific data. In fact, it tells us something about the Enlightenment - that they chose that word to convey "factual information / scientific data" and what they really thought about the old "knowing".

  2. Man... I have got to stop writing replies that are longer than you posts!