Matthew 13:11 AMP
And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
I’m hard-pressed to think of a verse that more completely illustrates the chasm between disciples and everyone else in the world. There is no bridge between the mind of the Spirit and the mind of the flesh. To have fellowship with God – complete union with Jesus, as He is One with the Father – is to have access to His secrets. In fellowship we are gifted to know the “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” from Mystery Himself. Likewise, without fellowship, the Mystery remains just that.
This is yet another example of the many separations that are found in the Bible. The scriptures are full of separation: Light or dark, clean or unclean, blessing or curse, saved or unsaved, Life or death… I’m not new to this idea, but it never occurred to me that this is not a then vs. now verse. In the same way that the crowds received the parables then, so too do the non-disciples receive them now. Without fellowship, without the mind of the Spirit, the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are no more accessible to readers of the Bible today than they were to the crowds of yesterday.
A single instrument can illustrate the basic melody of a symphony, but it cannot convey the harmonies and counter-melodies and rhythm of a full orchestra performing that symphony. So it seems to be with the scriptures. There is beauty and wisdom and warning and hope available to everyone, but the deeper levels of revelation cannot be accessed apart from real fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Why Mystery Matters
With every new revelation of who God is, I am changed. The very act of beholding Mystery is transfiguring, as Martha has chronicled with stunning clarity in her current devotional series. The Kingdom of Heaven is a different reality from the rest of the world, and this only matters if we’re determined to make the world understand us.
If the gift of knowing is given to disciples, then expecting your average unbeliever to comprehend the Life and Ways of God is not only ridiculous but cruel as well. Jesus didn’t overburden the crowd with the deeper ways and training of disciples. He didn’t throw pearls before swine, of course, but He also didn’t give a rack of ribs to an infant.
I think this is why the Holy Spirit shuts my mouth more than He opens it. I’m still very much being trained and disciplined in fellowship and complete submission to the move of the Spirit. It is one thing to speak to others with the assumption that they know that there is a God, and that He is most certainly GOD—Romans 1 confirms this reality. But it’s quite another thing to extol the Mystery of God and expect understanding—when “to them it has not been given.”
Fellowship and the Mystery
When we are in fellowship with God, we move in the flow of His purpose and are “given to know” ever more of the Mystery He is. But like the first disciples, it is ours to learn that not everything is for everyone, and God alone can reconcile that truth. Fellowship comes with great reward and great responsibility. And part of truly loving a person is accepting the choices they’ve made in the life God has given them. To try to bridge a gap that God ordained is rebellion against Him, and possibly a cruelty to the one we think we’re helping.
For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.
Matthew 13:12-13 AMP