Opening our minds to the truth

Does God give us his word in such a way as to confuse us? Some people think Jesus taught in parables to obfuscate the truth so no one could understand it. Did he?

The answer is no.

It is possible for a person’s mind to be so set against the word of God that such a one would reject what God tries to teach. A good example of this is one of the “hard sayings” of Jesus in John chapter six. The Lord said, “As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me” (John 6:57 ESV).

Why did this statement give people (then and now) trouble? When people’s minds are closed, almost any truth can meet enough resistance and fail to penetrate.

Job’s three friends tried to tell him the reason why he was suffering was because he was a sinner. It so happened he wasn’t guilty of sinning against God. God himself said Job was a righteous man (Job 1:8). Why did they continue to attack him? They continued their attack because their minds were made up.

When Jesus taught in parables, he was not trying to cloud the truth. Those who wanted to see and hear his words would do so because they wanted to learn. Those whose minds have been set in stone will never learn anything from the Lord.

We should, therefore, try to make certain we are not blocking the Lord’s words with preconceived theological arguments from men’s teachings. We should instead open our minds to his words, believe them and obey them.

William Barclay wrote, “So Jesus spoke his parables; he meant them to flash into people’s minds and to illuminate the truth of God. But in so many eyes he saw a dull incomprehension. He saw so many too lazy to think.”[1]

Sadly, there are those who are “too lazy to think” and will instead accept the wrong and harmful ideas of men to their eternal ruin. God’s word is not so difficult that careful study can reveal its meaning.

God wants us to know the truth, but we must be willing to open our minds and accept what he is teaching us.

[1] “The Gospel of Mark,” p. 107 “The New Daily Study Bible,” Westminster John Knox Press

2 Replies to “Opening our minds to the truth”

  1. I try to have an open mind and learn what God wants to teach me, but confess that I sometimes “filter” information when studying beliefs about certain topics that are “dear” to me. I try not to, but sometimes I read verses that conflict with my beliefs and say, “No, this can’t be right.” I then try to disprove it rather than accept it. I’m trying to change this attitude and think I am making progress. I believe a lot of people react this way when confronted with something that rocks their core beliefs. I’ve found that prayer goes a long way in helping to open one’s mind to the truth…including mine. 🙂

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