Between the parable of the sower and its explanation there are a couple of verses that many may find unsettling. Jesus says to the disciples,
‘The secret of the kingdom of God is given to you, but to those who are outside everything comes in parables; …otherwise they might be converted and be forgiven.’ (Mark 4:11-12)
Doesn’t Jesus want everyone to be converted and forgiven? Then why only the disciples are given an insight in the mysteries of God? I would like to offer you a possible reading of this verse. In our reading there are two groups of people; the crowd and the disciples. The first group, though being very large and keen to hear what Jesus has to say, are a fleeting bunch – some may be there out of curiosity, others maybe there to get something out. The crowd cannot understand what Jesus has to say because they can’t look beyond themselves. The second group, the disciples, are those who travel with Jesus and are genuinely committed to his message despite their many failings. They have become part of the new family Jesus has established – only yesterday’s gospel featured him saying, ‘Anyone who does the will of God, that person is my brother and sister and mother.’ (Mark 3:35) It is to this group that the mysteries of the Kingdom of God are revealed.
Remember the Lord’s words in Jeremiah,
‘When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart’ (Jer 29:13).
We mustn’t be like the crowd. We must be like the disciples and be part of the family Jesus has established (his Church) despite our many failings, seeking Jesus with willingness and a right heart. If we do this the treasure of faith will be revealed to us as it was revealed to them.