As The Flower Unfolds

“But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Matthew 13:16&17

I’ve said before that there is no hidden code in the Bible. But that is not to say it holds no secrets. Jesus makes it clear that His teaching reveals God in a way that His people had been unprepared to hear.

The funny this is that two thousand years later, people are still unprepared to hear Him. True, bibles are ubiquitous virtually world wide; true, archaeology and scholarship have unearthed nuances of meaning unavailable to generations of other Christians; true, the book has so seeped into our culture that most western universities will offer a course on the Bible as literature even where they have no religious foundation or instruction. Yet for all this, it is usually the book most likely to accrue a thick layer of dust in our homes. And even when it is cracked out, its meaning is often opaque to us.

“…[the Holy Spirit] will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

John 14:26

The best analogy for understanding Scripture is that of a flower unfolding. Often we are confused by apparent discrepancies between Old and New Testament. But as the message, the story of redemption, unfolds for us, the meaning becomes clearer and clearer. Finally in the revelation of Jesus Christ, all other subjects are brought into right perspective. But this is a flower that does not unfold any old way. Jesus makes it clear only through the work of the Holy Spirit will anyone understand Scripture. Like a variety of cactus that only flowers when fertilized, so Scripture only opens when coaxed by the Holy Spirit.

And that is what Jesus’ parable here is all about as He explains.

“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Matthew 13:23

So how can we have fruitful lives? By hearing and understanding God’s word. And how can we do that? By submitting ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to teach us.

Lord, here I am. Pencil sharp. Eyes open. Teach me.

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