It seems that God has us on a journey the past month or so learning how to better discern and perceive Him and what He is doing in our lives. Last week, Annette brought us a fresh and new perspective on the significance and the power of the blood of Jesus.
She provided historical and cultural context that helped bring a new level of depth of understanding that helped us to more fully perceive why Jesus shed His blood to establish a new covenant with us. Though this event happened thousands of years ago, it still boldly declares the value that the Heavenly Father has placed in our lives here and now today. After all, we are not our own, we were bought at a price!
This morning, we’re going back yet again to Matthew 13. In this chapter is recorded several parables that Jesus spoke, which lead His disciples to ask:
10 … “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
Prayerfully, we will choose to be ones who see and perceive what God is doing and ones who hear and understand what God is speaking. Knowledge of the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven have been hidden for us to seek after. They are just waiting to be revealed to us as we seek after them! In fact, Jesus said that those who seek will find.
Jesus gave a few parables that emphasize the rich reward waiting for those who seek after the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven in just a few simple sentences.
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
I love, love, love this picture that Jesus paints of the Kingdom of Heaven. It’s like a house that we own. As we explore that house, we find storerooms of treasures. Some are new to us. Some are old and familiar. However, everything in the kingdom is always new and fresh! Last week, Annette brought back out the treasure of the blood of Jesus, that old, old story that we are all very familiar with.
However, we saw it from a new and fresh perspective and a whole new revelation came forth to us! God’s wisdom is manifold. There’s always a different way of looking at things and a new perspective to be gained for those who seek to see and listen to hear. Paul explained it this way as he brought out the old, written word of God. He received the grace of God that enabled him to see and experience a truth that was hidden within that same word that was passed down from generation to generation that they never saw.
2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
God intended that through the church, through you and I, that we would see from different perspectives the wisdom found in His word. God intended that we would not only receive these riches for ourselves as they are revealed, but also freely make them known; even in heavenly realms!
We receive God’s grace and God’s revelation not for ourselves alone, but so that we can administer it out to others! It’s not about what we know, it’s about who we know. It’s not about what is revealed to us, but what we do with that revelation that matters.
1 Corinthians 8:1
… We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
Consider someone who lived 600 years before the birth of Jesus who was given incredible revelation. He was shown such weighty and full secrets from the Kingdom of Heaven that he fainted and just lay there exhausted and ill for days. This man is Daniel. However, listen to his heart and his motive and his humility and what he chose to do with God’s revelation that expanded his life to be able to receive revelation so great!
26 The king (Nebuchadnezzar) asked Daniel (also called Belteshazzar), “Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and interpret it?”
27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in days to come. Your dream and the visions that passed through your mind as you were lying in bed are these:
29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
It’s not about what we know, it’s about who we know. It’s not about what is revealed to us, but what we do with that revelation that matters. It’s not about us, it’s about God. However, take note of why such an evil and wicked king was shown this revelation. He was seeking it out. His mind turned to things to come.
If God would choose to pour out revelation to a man like this, how much more is He willing and ready to pour out revelation to us, His children? How many rooms does He have in His storehouse that we have just never bothered to take the time to open up and explore? How many times do we read His word and just kind of skim over it because we have already read it before?
What if instead, we prayed and asked Jesus to give us eyes to see and perceive, ears to hear and understand? What if we intentionally ask Jesus to open our minds to see His word in a new light and in a fresh way?
After all, God’s word is alive and active! It doesn’t change, but our lives are ever-changing. It doesn’t change, but our understanding and perception is always changing. It doesn’t change, but it always is speaking a new and fresh word!
What we need in our lives isn’t some new idea or philosophy or discovery found by human wisdom. What we need is to hear God’s voice! What we need is less of us and more of the Spirit within us being revealed! That’s how the apostle Paul’s ministry was so powerful and effective and why he was given such deep revelation and a brand new ministry to the gentiles!