When Jesus was on Earth, He chose to speak in parables.  This was in keeping with the LORD telling Isaiah how he would speak to his fellow Israelites (Isaiah 6:9-10):

9 He said, “Go and tell this people:

“‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’

10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

We’re currently studying the Gospel of Mark and in Mark 4:1-34, Jesus tells four parables.  After He tells the first parable, He says in verse 9: “Whoever has ears, let them hear”.

But later when He is alone with the Twelve, He takes the trouble to explain the true meaning of the parable.  I believe this was so that, early on in His ministry, those closest to Him would understand that the parables were metaphors for spiritual lessons. 

Only with a soft, open heart and being prepared to listen are we able to discern the lesson in the parable.  This really emphasises the need to be humble of heart and trusting of the LORD.  And to make sure we’re listening and paying attention.

I often ask myself the following questions:

1. Am I reading the Bible with an expectant heart, yearning to learn something new about God?  And maybe about myself? 

2. Do I ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes and ears to the things that God wants to reveal to me?  Often about my motives, actions and attitudes towards others as well as my reaction to my circumstances.

3. Do I come to church with an open and expectant heart, yearning to worship the LORD and commune with Him and my fellow believers?

Can I encourage you to ask these questions of yourself?

The LORD bless you and keep you.