Let’s come from a different angle to continue our efforts to understand the problem that Jesus came to solve. I have made much of the idea that we formulate our solutions based on our definition of a problem. We can assume that Jesus accurately defined the problem that He was here to solve, so let’s look at His solutions.
It has always been intriguing to me that Jesus teaches in such a way as to disguise, or even hide truth.
At that time Jesus said,
“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. -Matthew 11:25
As soon as He was alone, His followers, along with the twelve, began asking Him about the parables. And He was saying to them,
“To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God, but those who are outside get everything in parables, so that WHILE SEEING, THEY MAY SEE AND NOT PERCEIVE, AND WHILE HEARING, THEY MAY HEAR AND NOT UNDERSTAND, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT RETURN AND BE FORGIVEN.” – Mark 4:10-12
Since Jesus intentionally hides truth, the first thing we can assume about the problem that He came to solve, is that it has nothing to do with being sure we have our information correct. It seems He is eager to not feed our knowledge of good.
If we are not careful as we consider His teaching approach we will ask the wrong question; “why has God hidden truth?” This question will make God seem stingy. The right question is, “to whom, or more importantly, in what way has God revealed truth?”
God has revealed Truth in a very particular way; one that cannot be perceived by the knowledge of good and evil. A significant part of the problem that Jesus came to solve has to do with restoring a way of knowing truth that was once primary to the human race. If God makes His truth available to the “wise and learned” He would actually feed the beast that killed us all. Our knowledge of good cannot in any way bring us into proximity of Life, or the Source of Life, any more than our car could take us to Hawaii. If our wisdom and learning are the vehicle, Life can never be the destination.
God has not so much hidden truth as He has made it available on the path to which He is trying to draw us.
He is trying to be sure that we do not mistakenly believe that we are The Way, while coming to understand that He is.
The fact that God hid truth in His teaching method is not a commentary on God being a difficult old man, rather it is God addressing the very problem that Jesus came to solve. Knowing more information as a way to approach and know God is part of the very sickness He came to cure.
Jesus came to solve the problem of men having lost the way that we find lost things. We must learn the kind of truth that sets us free in a particular way. We must learn it in the way that we learn from parables.
How do we learn from parables?
The way that we learn math is very different from the way that we learn poetry. The way that we learn physics is very different from the way that we learn music. In fact, music is a great example. Music can be learned as an art, and we end up with the great blues and jazz players. Or it can be learned as a science and we end up with technical wizards who have little soul. Imagine learning it as both art and science.
Teach a lesson on the pursuing Grace of God. You will inform the mind. Tell a parable about a lost son, and you stir the inner man. The mind and Grace may be incompatible in the same way that science and love can be incompatible.
Measure heart palpitations. Observe glandular changes. Quantify hormonal shifts.
Swim in a sea of longing that can both drown and thrill you when the mere thought of your lover comes to mind.
Which of these ways of learning is compatible with the kind of love your wife hungers for?
And what way of learning is compatible with the Kingdom of God, the restoration of the human soul, and the deep need of the lost human race?
We learn from parables not just the things they say, but we learn to hear on channels beyond our intellect. We learn to have ears that hear, and to have the eyes of our hearts opened.
Jesus came to solve the problem of ears that hear but do not hear, and eyes that see but do not see. How could he teach in ways that access the mind, while starving the eyes of our hearts? It would be incompatible with the problem He came to solve.