Luke 8:9-10 – And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, [10] he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.

Spiritual truth is understood spiritually and that is a work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2 that the reason some cannot understand spiritual truth is because they do not have the Holy Spirit to guide them. The Holy Spirit is given to all who believe in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:14). Understanding Scripture is not a matter of intelligence or work or insight. This doesn’t mean that all believers will agree on what texts mean or that all will have the same depth of understanding. But it does mean that all believers can understand things that no unbeliever can.

Jesus spoke in parables in His teaching so that those whose faith was in Him could know more about the secrets of the Kingdom of God. Those who refuse to believe are not given this understanding. He spoke to them in parables to further confound them. He spoke in parables that those who trust Him would have greater understanding and that those who do not trust Him remain in their ignorance.

This is a great incentive for true believers to study the parables of Jesus (and any piece of Scripture because this principle is also true for all the Scriptures). God has given us a written record of Himself, mankind, sin, the Gospel and the eternal state, so that we will be more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. He has given all those who trust Christ the ability to benefit from the Scriptures, to be able to understand its teachings.

To neglect what God Himself has given us to understand is a great act of rebellion and we should repent to the degree that it is true of us. To be able to pray “Lord enable me to understand what I am reading” and know that it is God’s will that we will is a privilege beyond our wildest dreams. And yet, other things so easily get in the way of our time in the Word. What we all need, pastors and other spiritual leaders included, is a sense of wonder that we have been given a communication from God so that we will be more like Jesus. It is a privilege of incalculable magnitude.

We study the Bible to show ourselves as smart or to show others as stupid. We study to find out if the preacher is right. We study out of a sense of duty. We read the Bible so that we can get through it in a year. But we are called to hunger and thirst after righteousness and a starving person will not be casual when food is offered to him.

To those of us who have come to faith in Christ it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of God. Meditate on that thought for a few moments and then come away with a casual approach to the Scriptures, if you can. The fact that we can is testimony to our need for a spiritual awakening in our hearts. O that God would grant it to us and may its evidence be that we feed on Him through the Word He has given for just that purpose.