Mark 4: Who Can Understand?
Mark 4 gives us a verse that might seem to be a little bit controversial.
Mar 4:10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable.
Mar 4:11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
Mar 4:12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
I guess that this might raise some eyebrows. Was Jesus really saying that He did not want to have some people be forgiven?
I think that we need to evaluate the context here. Jesus had just told a parable to a great crowd of people. He was out in a boat because the crowd was so huge.
The parable is over, and some people stayed after with His 12 disciples. We don’t know the exact number, but we know the 12 disciples were there, and there were other people with them.
These are the ones who were taught about the “story behind the story.” They got the commentary on what the parable meant because they were the ones who were willing to remain. They wanted more of Jesus.
Even though it seems that they did not understand the parable at first, they were also the ones who were trying to learn more.
That is then what we need to keep in mind when we come to verse 12. I don’t want to fall into a massive theological debate here about predestination and free will, but it seems to me that in this context, Jesus was going to show everything to those who were seeking it. Jesus was willing to give the interpretation to those who remained after and wanted to find it. Were they going by their own free will or were they drawn there by God? I don’t know that it really matters at this point. The important part is that they were the ones who were there.
I think that then for you and I, we need to make sure that we are the ones who are chasing after Jesus. We want to be the ones who are looking to Him for answers. We want to be the ones who are trusting that He knows what He is talking about. If the one who followed were the ones who are going to have the opportunity to be forgiven, I know what group I want to be with.