Now I have read the Gospels a couple times through and for the most part I feel like I have a good understanding on the teachings of Jesus. But there are still some mysteries that I see once in a while that confuse me. One of which is found in the book of Mark.
And He was saying to them, “To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.”Mark 4:11-12 NASB1995
This passage always confused me, because it seemed to contradict the message of Jesus. We know that Jesus’ mission on Earth was to redeem mankind and free them from their slavery to sin. He was and is the wise teacher and king that will bring humanity back to our true purpose in God. Yet in this instance we see Jesus as hiding truth, so that ‘otherwise they might return and be forgiven.’ It seems like Jesus is not telling them plainly so that they WON’T come and be forgiven. But isn’t that the whole reason for Him coming down here in the first place? It wasn’t until recently that this puzzle was solved for me. This is what the Lord showed me.
‘Now hear this, O foolish and senseless people, Who have eyes but do not see; Who have ears but do not hear. Do you not fear Me?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do you not tremble in My presence? For I have placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, An eternal decree, so it cannot cross over it. Though the waves toss, yet they cannot prevail; Though they roar, yet they cannot cross over it.Jeremiah 5:21-22 NASB1995
The connection between this passage and the one in Mark, is that both mention eyes that do not see, and ears that do not hear. But the true secret can be found in the Jeremiah passage, where both not hearing and not seeing is tied to not fearing God. You see, if we don’t have the fear of the Lord, then we will be blind and deaf to the truth.
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; They have turned aside and departed. They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, Who gives rain in its season, Both the autumn rain and the spring rain, Who keeps for us The appointed weeks of the harvest.”Jeremiah 5:23-24 NASB1995
We can see that another aspect of the blindness that these people had was that they saw how God moved in their lives, yet they still did not recognize God. They did not fear Him and honor Him for what He did. Instead they just disregarded the works of the Lord. We can see Paul talk about this in the first chapter of the letter to the Romans.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Romans 1:21 NASB1995
This discovery has lead me to believe that the number one reason for people not hearing or seeing the Gospel is because of their pride. It has blinded them to truth and will not allow them to see or hear. God wants to rescue them from themselves, but He needs you to be humble first. He will bring signs and evidence of Himself but you need to be humble, then you will be able to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.