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Truth (Revealed and Concealed)

“The mysteries of the kingdom are not merely obscure concepts or some religious truths only for the elite, nor is the understanding of the parables simply an intellectual process. Even the disciples find the message hard to understand. While Jesus taught the same message to all, it is the simple and innocent who are open to its message…To unbelievers, the parables remain bewildering. To those with simple faith, these stories using common images reveal truth in ways they can grasp, as they were able.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 13:11, Mark 4:33)

“...the parables [such as the Parable of the Mustard Seed Matthew 13:31-32, Mark 4:30-32, Luke 13:18-19] have to do with things that are cryptic, concealed beneath the surface of other things. These hidden things are what the Lord speaks of in his parables. The world is already the secret bearer of inner mysteries. They have been there all along, concealed in the structure of existence, and the Lord addresses our attention to them in his parables…The mustard seed does not even slightly resemble a mustard bush, nor does a bit of leaven look at all like a loaf of bread. In both instances there is, rather, a mystery of life that is revealed by a process of transformation.” (Fr. Patrick Reardon)

“ ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’ (Matthew 13:9). The parables Christ told both reveal the truth, but they also conceal the truth. The state of our heart determines the proper functioning of our ears. If our hearts are open our ears are open, and we hear the truth and it penetrates to our core. If our hearts are closed and we lack belief all we hear are words we really do not understand.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“In Scripture, a mystery is a truth God has revealed or will reveal at the proper time (Rom. 16:25–26). Jesus apparently used parables for several reasons. First, they are interesting and grab the listener’s attention. Second, such stories are easily remembered. Third, they reveal truth to those who are ready spiritually to receive it. Fourth, they conceal truth from those who oppose Christ’s message. Frequently Jesus’ opponents failed to understand the lessons because of their own spiritual blindness.” (Foundation Study Bible, Mark 4:11)

“Jesus’ parables compel listeners to discover truth, while at the same time concealing the truth from those too lazy or too stubborn to see it….When speaking in parables, Jesus was not hiding truth from sincere seekers, because those who were receptive to spiritual truth understood the illustrations. To others they were only stories without meaning.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 13:2-3, 13:9-10)

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