"To you is given the knowledge of the mystery of the sanctuary of God – but to those who are outside are given everything with analogies – so while seeing they may see yet not perceive; and hearing they may hear yet not understand – or else at any point they will become worshipers and their offenses be forgiven." (Mark 4:11-12)This statement, quoted from the Gospels of Jesus, follows Jesus' farmer and the seed analogy, to which Jesus' disciples approached him:
Then when he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the analogy. (Mark 4:10)As confirmed in Luke and Matthew, Jesus is quoting Isaiah as he discusses his use of analogies (or parables) in his teachings:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord [God] saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" He [God] said, "Go and tell this people: " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.' Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise, they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." (Isaiah 6:9-10 NIV)Thus we find that Jesus is answering his disciples by quoting Isaiah - and Isaiah is quoting a statement made by the Supreme Being as he instructs Isaiah to instruct people in a certain way.
Why did Jesus teach with so many parables?
To this one might ask why Jesus was speaking in analogies - parables that are often difficult to understand: Why is the information being presented in such a way that many cannot understand it? And why did the Supreme Being instruct Isaiah that the people should, "'be ever hearing, but never understanding.'"?
Isaiah 6;9-10 contains a slight mistranslation. The Supreme Being didn't say "Go and tell this people..." That would be a contradiction because to tell them this would basically mean to reveal the intent and purpose, when the intent from God's statement was to withhold.
The word "tell" is being translated from the Hebrew word אָמַר ('amar), which can mean "to say" and "to answer," but it can also mean "to intend." In other words, the Supreme Being isn't telling Isaiah to blab everything to those Israelites that have abandoned the Supreme Being. He is telling Isaiah that he should withhold certain information from them - by intention: Intend to withhold.
And this is precisely what Jesus is doing with his parables - his intention was to withhold information from those to whom the Supreme Being does not want to reveal the Truth.
Why would God hide the truth from some of us?
Yes, the Supreme Being is making this determination, as the topic is speaking the Truth regarding Supreme Being. And just as someone in charge may want to control how they are introduced to others, the Supreme Being also is in control of how He is spoken of. And both Isaiah and Jesus are in the role of God's representative - taking instruction from God. Jesus confirmed this multiple times, including when he said:
“My teaching is not mine, but comes from He who sent me." (John 7:16)and
"For I speak not from myself but the Creator Himself who sent me gives me instructions as to what to teach and what to say." (John 12:49)These and other statements by Jesus confirm that he is passing on the teachings of the Supreme Being. And Jesus is acting on behalf of the Supreme Being:
"For I have descended from the spiritual realm not to please myself but to please Him who sent me." (John 6:38)Furthermore, Jesus clearly states that the Supreme Being is in control of who approached Jesus and heard his confidential teachings:
“No one can follow me unless the Creator who sent me guides them, and I will raise them up at the end of their lifetime." (John 6:44)The phrase "come to me" indicates those who approached Jesus and were given clear insight and instructions to help them redevelop their relationship with the Supreme Being.
In other words, what the Supreme Being is instructing Isaiah, and what Jesus is indicating, is that only those who are ready are given the opportunity to hear and understand the teachings of God's representative.
What is the "mystery" Jesus speaks of above?
Yes, it is about being ready to hear the Truth about the Supreme Being. How does a person become ready?
Becoming ready to hear the confidential nature of the relationships between the Supreme Being and His children - the "sanctuary of God" - requires a person first making a choice.
What is that choice? It is the choice to give up our sense that the universe revolves around us. It is the choice to accept that the Supreme Being is in charge and we are not. It is the choice that comes from understanding that we are not happy nor can we alone figure out how to be happy - without the Supreme Being.
This determination - this choice - comes from an evolution of the self. It comes from an appreciation of our own weaknesses and our inability to climb our way out of being lost.
Yes, we are truly lost here in this physical world.
A person who does not accept that they are lost is not ready to hear about the confidential nature of the Supreme Being. Such a person is not ready because they already think they know it all.
We can test this simply. Just take a walk down a street and randomly pick someone and ask them: 'Who is God?' They will have it all figured out. They will tell you their big theories - their speculative version - of God and the universe. And if you were to ask them if they know God and could then describe God specifically, they could not. They actually do not know God. Yet they still will tell you they have it all figured out.
This is called ignorance.
Not only do they not know: They are not prepared to come to know.
This means a person does not really want to know God.
Why? Why wouldn't a person not really want to come to know God? Because such a person will feel deep inside that it might just interfere with their own plans.
In other words, coming to know the Supreme Being might wreck all our hopes and dreams for becoming happy in the physical world. It might wreck our plan to become a champion. Or it might wreck our plan to become a big boss. Or a big movie star. Or the president. Or a physicist. Or a parent with a big family. Or whatever our plans are. We don't want to know someone who might really be in charge because we want to be in charge.
It is not necessarily that we think we can be in charge of everyone else - but it would certainly be nice. At the very least, we want to be in charge of our own lives. We want to be the boss of my life. We want to make our own decisions without anyone else interfering and telling us what to do.
This desire to be independent, in fact, is why we are here in the physical world in the first place. It is why we are virtually away from the Supreme Being - and why we falsely identify with these temporary physical bodies.
These physical bodies are dying
They were made to die. They weren't made to live. They were designed to die. They might carry us - just as a car carries a passenger or a driver - but like a car, they will eventually break down. Just as a car could never be built to last forever, our physical bodies were designed to operate only a few decades before we have to leave them while they begin to decompose. In other words, we are not these physical bodies.
These physical bodies and this physical world were designed to give us the independence we were looking for. At some point, each of us rejected the Supreme Being and we wanted to be independent of Him. So He designed the physical world in such a way that we could pretend He doesn't exist for a while. These senses and mind were designed to be limited - so they essentially block us from understanding His existence. This way, we can ignore Him and even deny His existence completely.
This is because we were created to love and serve God: And love requires freedom. So we each have the freedom to love Him or not.
Even though the physical world is designed to allow us to ignore God, it also is set up to help us come to a change of heart - if we choose. The physical world provides a learning facility that allows us to gradually become aware that this world is not our home.
And for those who get to that point and decide they want to return home to the Supreme Being - the Supreme Being sends His representatives to teach us about Him.
At the same time, for those who make this choice during their lifetimes, the Supreme Being directs that person to God's representative. This is confirmed in Jesus' statements above.
Yes, the "mystery" of God's sanctuary is only given to those who are ready and given by those who are sent by the Supreme Being. Those who have been empowered by Him. This is because the "sanctuary of God" is about the relationships that exist between the Supreme Being and His children: loving relationships. And only one who is involved in such a relationship can introduce others.
In the same way, if we wanted to personally get to know the President of the U.S., we would need to be introduced to him by someone who is already a friend of the President. Otherwise, we would only receive the official version of the President - and never come to know him personally.
This is Jesus' role and why he was so dedicated to the Supreme Being - because he enjoyed a confidential loving relationship with God:
"And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases Him.” (John 8:29)This loving relationship was being described within the parable of the farmer and the seed as well as within other parables - but only those who came to have a personal connection with Jesus - having been drawn by the Supreme Being - could come to understand the meaning of those parables.
This differs from sectarian teachings
They proclaim that we only have to stare at the cross and "accept Jesus into my life" to become forgiven.
Yet Jesus is clearly quoting God as spoken to Isaiah. Is this what He said?
Actually, Isaiah 6:10 says, "and turn and be healed."
The word "healed" is being translated from the Hebrew word רָפָא (rapha') - which does mean "to heal."
Meanwhile, the word "forgive" in Jesus' statement is translated from the Greek word ἀφίημι (aphiēmi) - which means "to let go, let alone, let be" and "to give up a debt, forgive, to remit."
Are these the same thing? Within a spiritual context, absolutely. Jesus is simply providing clarity - more dimension - to the statement.
Jesus and God are speaking of the spiritual person within the body becoming healed - which is the same as being released from the bondage of the physical world. This can relate to being forgiven as well if a person understands that what is being forgiven is one's previous rejection of the Supreme Being.
This ultimate form of healing or forgiveness - to be healed or released from the ignorance of the physical world. This allows us purification - and the ability to reconnect with the Supreme Being, and come to love Him and serve Him.
These are the keys to real happiness.