Last week in my time alone with God I read Mark 4. I came across an interesting passage that I’ve probably read 100’s of times. Take a minute to read the following passage carefully and see what you can draw from it. Mark 4:33-34 NLT: 33 He (Jesus) used many such stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they were able to understand. 34 In fact, in his public teaching he taught only with parables, but afterward when he was alone with his disciples, he explained the meaning to them.
Read verse 34 again; “In fact, in his public teaching he taught only with parables, but afterward when he was alone with his disciples, he explained the meaning to them.”
Why do you think Jesus chose to do this? Verse 33 may contain the answer.
What is a parable? One Bible dictionary defines a parable as a simple story designed to communicate a spiritual truth, religious principle, or moral lesson; a figure of speech in which truth is illustrated by a comparison or example drawn from everyday experiences.
It was interesting to me as I thought about this how significant our Small Groups (Home Teams) are. We pray and plan our weekend services to be able to explain the truth of God’s Word to many people – usually using simple stories from everyday experiences that help illustrate spiritual truth. We also pray and plan for our small groups (Home Teams) to be a place where people can gather (like the disciples did with Jesus) to discuss and gain understanding of those truths so we can apply them in our lives.
Many times Jesus’ closest followers didn’t fully understand His public teaching. As they would withdraw to private places, they would have opportunities to talk with each other and with Him about the meaning.
As we start our One Month To Live (OMTL) Challenge this coming weekend at Grace Fellowship, (March 7 for our Hispanic Bi-Lingual Service and March 8 for our Sunday services) – I hope you’ll consider the example in this passage and make the choice to get involved in a Home Team Small Group. I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in this series, but the impact will be much greater if we get with others in small groups to discuss the spiritual truths that will be presented during this challenge!
If you’re not a part of the Grace Fellowship family – I hope you’ll find a small group in your church where you can search the truth of God’s Word with others who are seeking to understand and apply His truth!