You guys, I think I have a new favorite Scripture verse.
Let me explain. In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the people in parables, as He commonly did. These allegories capture the imagination and allow His listeners to see themselves in the story. They also communicate deep mysteries about who God is and how He works. They’re also, sometimes, pretty confusing. So it’s this last line that really gets me:
But to his own disciples he explained everything in private. (Mark 4:34)
Everything?! I want to know everything! Why isn’t “everything” just explained in the Gospel? If Jesus did and said more, why isn’t it all here in His Word? Why doesn’t He just lay it all out up front?
The crazy thing is, those questions answer themselves in the very same verse: to His own disciples He explained everything.
Only His disciples get to know everything. People who aren’t His disciples yet aren’t ready for it all. It is because He is full of wisdom and mercy that He doesn’t tell us everything before we can bear it, before we can possibly understand it. Because if we were to hear it, we would need to be obedient to it. So if we’re not ready to be obedient, we’re not ready to hear everything.
How do we become His disciples? Check out that verse one more time. We spend time with Him—IN PRIVATE.
When we pray, we’re doing more than our duty to God. We are building and sustaining a relationship with a living Person. We receive more and more of His love until we become rooted in it, secure in our identity as His beloved daughters. And as we come to know Him for who He really is, we are able to trust Him more. Suddenly obedience isn’t about following rules, it is a natural response to a deep love felt and reciprocated. Discipleship really is a beautiful thing.
I’m not promising that all the answers to your questions or your heart’s desires will be revealed in relationship with Jesus. He’s not dangling a carrot on a stick, enticing you to come closer before He spills the goods. Sometimes we will not understand this side of Heaven. But I promise you that Jesus Himself IS the answer. To every question, every pain, every longing. And He explains everything for those who love Him.
Go to the Adoration Chapel. Clasp your Rosary. Pour over Scripture. Get to Mass. Find time for Him.
Beth Davis is a lover of Jesus, a recently retired youth minister, and the Director of Ministry Advancement for Blessed is She. She is passionate about teaching women how to develop an intimate relationship with Jesus and speaking hope to weary hearts. Her favorite things include being an aunt to her five fantastic niece and nephews, the Saint Name Generator, and whatever book she's currently reading. You can find out more about her here.