Change came slowly to our 55-year-old Christian school. As a new principal, I started to question the formal faculty dress code, especially when I saw one of our teachers, Miss Russell sliding feet first down the tall tunnel slide with her kindergartners, dressed in her required blouse, knee-length skirt, heels, and hose. I wrote to the school board laying out reasons why it was time for a change in the dress code, which was unanimously approved. When I asked a school board member why it was still in effect, he commented, “No one ever asked us to change it.” I am so glad I asked the question!
In Mark 4, Jesus was teaching through parables. Parables have been defined as earthly stories that relay heavenly truths. The crowd gathered to learn from Jesus was so large that Jesus taught from a boat on the lake (v. 1). In the Parable of the Sower (vv. 4–20) Jesus vividly described those who heard the gospel and their various responses. Some would hear the truth and respond with life-giving change, while others would not respond at all. He used imagery the crowds would understand.
Notice that later, when they were alone, Jesus did not scold the disciples for asking follow-up questions (vv. 10–11). Instead, He gave further explanation; their questions prompted Him to clarify critical meaning. While Jesus wanted all people to hear the gospel, not everyone would be ready to listen and believe (vv. 14–18). He used additional parables to magnify His message: no matter the response, we have a responsibility to share the gospel. What if the disciples had not asked questions? What if they had walked away without understanding Jesus’ message?
>> Are you ever afraid to ask questions? Jesus encouraged His followers to learn, to ask so they could understand. Never be afraid to admit your confusion to God. And bring your questions to trustworthy Bible teachers who can help you understand and, in doing so, deepen your faith.
Again, as we read some of Christ’s parables, we see the disciples asking their Teacher difficult questions. During your prayer time, have the courage to ask God difficult questions you’re facing.