Mark 4:10 - 12
NKJV - 10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. 11 And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables.
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The main human impediment to achieving fellowship with God is pride. The Jewish religious authorities who opposed Jesus prided themselves on their knowledge of scripture and their obedience to the law's technical aspects and requirements, but (as God pointed out even in the time of the Old Testament in passages such as Hosea 6:6) they overlooked or ignored the most important commandments in the Law dealing with their own personal attitudes and behavior, such as the practice of love, mercy, and justice in dealing with others. They also believed themselves perfectly righteous, when, in fact, they were just as much in need of repentance and forgiveness as those whom they looked down on (as illustrated by Jesus in the parable of the Pharisee and the publican in Luke 18:9-14). By imparting spiritual truths in parables, Jesus intended to show them that they were not as discerning or as perfect as they thought they were. There were great spiritual principles that they could not discern, or of which they were still ignorant. And if they did not understand the parables, but truly had the humility that God wanted them to have in His presence, they could have asked Jesus about their meaning (as anyone could, and as the apostles did), but their pride prevented them from admitting that a man whom they regarded as just a carpenter from Nazareth had spiritual insight that they (despite all their religious learning) lacked.
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