Have you ever watched the children's movie, Polar Express? For years it has been one of my family's favorite fun Christmas films. For awhile, it became an annual tradition to watch it. A theme throughout the movie is belief in Santa, and the characters in the movie couldn't hear his sleigh bells ring until they first believed in him.
A few weeks back, I read in Mark 4 about Jesus explaining His parables to His disciples. It reads, “With many such parables He spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to His own disciples He explained everything.” (ESV)
Today, in Luke 8, following Jesus' parable of the Sower, I read a sort of continuation to this. “And when His disciples asked Him what this parable meant, He said, 'To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that “seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.” ' " (ESV)
I found some very interesting insight into this and I thought you might find it fascinating as well. In the Mark 4 passage, where it refers to “He spoke the word to them,” it is saying that Jesus taught the multitudes in parables. Who are the multitudes in Jesus' day? Unbelievers. Who are the multitudes in today's world? Unbelievers. Who are His disciples to whom Jesus explained His parables? Christians. Non-Christians will not be able to understand the full meaning of God's words as written in the Bible. Only the Christians who take the time to ask God and listen for His answers will be given true knowledge. Faith leads to knowledge and comprehension of the truth that is otherwise unable to be attained. By faith the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in believers and it is of Him that Jesus says, ". . . it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. . . . When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth . . ." (ESV)
As my family and I were discussing this, we came up with another level to it. What is a name of Jesus? The Word. Just as non-Christians cannot understand the Bible—God's Words—until they believe, neither can they understand the Word, Jesus. When non-Christians have so many questions concerning things in the Bible, and Christians try to explain them, with this knowledge it makes much more sense that the unbelievers cannot understand it and tend to keep pressing the same issues. It is impossible for them to comprehend these things until they first believe.
I keep thinking about the bell in Polar Express. They couldn't hear it ring until they first believed.