Understanding

The nearness of Jesus increases our capacity to understand things.
God created everyone with five senses to help us understand the world around us. When Jesus comes into our hearts, the Holy Spirit enables us to understand spiritual things. It is much more than a sixth sense; it is an inner capacity to know God. This is one of the four promises God makes to us in the New Covenant. Before the fall of the human race into sin, Adam and Eve knew God—they had a capacity to understand spiritual realities. Sin disrupted this capacity leaving sinful people stumbling in the dark in spiritual matters. The imagination takes over, aided by hell itself, to create all the crazy beliefs about the spirit world.

“Given to you to know the mysteries…”
The disciples asked Jesus why He taught the people using parables. In His answer He explained that only those who had answered His call to follow Him had been given the beginnings of this New Covenant understanding. The multitude, even those who had been touched and healed, did not possess this inner capacity to understand spiritual things. The earthly ministry of Jesus was a time of transition between the covenants. He spoke as if the New Covenant was already in place; perhaps because His heart was already set on the cross, the final sacrifice that would seal the New Covenant. At the Last Supper He declared that the blood of the New Covenant was His blood. Until that time, the proximity of Jesus in the lives of the disciples set them apart from the crowd. For those of us on this side of the New Covenant, the promise to understand spiritual things is in full force. We have the Holy Spirit resident in our lives to teach us the facts, to show us the signs, reveal to us the mysteries, and amplify our capacity to understand the Bible.

With Understanding Comes Responsibility.
Jesus gives a promise and a warning:

“For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance;
but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

Like a muscle or the brain itself, regular use increases capacity. If we explore spiritual things, the very things we discover will increase our capacity to understand more. On the other hand, if we are lazy and disinterested in spiritual things, our capacity to know God and to understand spiritual things will fade. It is sometimes said that to waste a mind is a terrible thing. To squander the illumination of the Holy Spirit in our lives is much, much worse. When we read the Bible, pray at our private altar, or gather with the saints before the Throne of God in public worship, we are expanding our capacity to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God.

“But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear”

Jesus pointed out the transition at work that day. The prophets of old could not see in their day what the disciples were seeing. The patriarchs did not hear what those close to Jesus and following Him were hearing.

The nearness of Jesus increases our capacity to understand things.

Scripture:
Matthew 13:10-9
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Hebrews 8:8-12
He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, You are my teacher! Holy Spirit, you bring light to my understanding of spiritual things. Thank You for this gift! Help me to regularly go to Your Word for understanding, to pray in the Secret Place where the Father is so that I might see things clearly, and to be faithful to Your House of Prayer so that we who have been called out of darkness into Your marvelous light can see You high and lifted up and therefore, see the world clearly. Help me to walk in the Light as You are in the Light, seeing and understanding all things. Amen.

Song:
More about Jesus
Words: Eliza E, Hewitt; Music: John. R. Sweney

1. More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of his saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.

Refrain:
More, more about Jesus,
More, more about Jesus;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.

2 More about Jesus let me learn,
More of his holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.

Refrain

3. More about Jesus in His Word,
Holding communion with my Lord;
Hearing his voice in ev’ry line,
Making each faithful saying mine.

Refrain

4. More about Jesus on his throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More if His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of peace.

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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