“He told them, “The secret of the kingdom has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven”. (Mark 4:12)
The murder of 33-year old marketing executive Sarah Everard who first disappeared in South London after walking home from a friend’s house, and was later found dead, has sparked widespread outcry for a change in the way that women are protected. In the wake of this tragic loss, women have gathered in protests to challenge existing law on sexual harassment, and how women are perceived in the mainstream. Thereby, sparking up further conversations around gender-based violence.
We live in a generation that is constantly challenging. With the birth of Generation Y and Z, we are seeing an ever increasing use of voices and platforms to challenge existing systems. These systems are viewed as oppressive, and do not go far enough in protecting the rights of the people of a nation. The year 2020 saw the biggest worldwide protests of perhaps a generation with the Black Lives Matter movement, where thousands of people around the globe took to the streets to protest against police brutality and racism, which is a conversation that is still reverberating in 2021. But while challenging an idea, a concept or a construct is good, it only goes so far if there is no change.
In Mark 4:10-13, we see Jesus explaining the importance of parables after being asked about them by his disciples and those around him. Jesus explains to them that they have “been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables”. Parables were succinct metaphorical stories which illustrated lessons or principles, and were used by Jesus as a tool to teach those around him. Those who leaned in and sought more of Jesus were often changed. For such people, the seed sown fell on good soil and produced crops hundred times what was sown. But for many, the seed fell on rocky ground or because they had no roots, it didn’t last as the troubles of this world choked the word, thereby making it unfruitful. Such people were merely challenged but not changed.
As children of God, we have been called to be agents of change and this comes from leaning into Jesus who holds the secret of the kingdom so that we may perceive, hear and understand the word in possessing our nation.
So this week, don’t be merely challenged by the word, be changed by the word, for the secret of the kingdom has been opened to you. Therefore let us lean into Christ as we diligently pursue the hearts of people in spreading the gospel as we possess the nation for God’s own glory.