Imagine you have the ability to “see through lists of numbers” and understand the complexity and code(s) they sometimes attempt to hide. God has created and wired many people with the intuition and genius level math skills to break codes and decipher puzzles.
I read an article about Meredith Knox Gardner, the United States most famous “cryptanalyst,” who worked with many other gifted people during the Cold War with Russia in order to find and unlock codes that would turn the numbers into clues. The goal was to understand and thwart Soviet spy efforts starting back in the 1940’s.
Today computers are used to do the same sort of work in seconds. But in the days of World War 2 and following, when espionage was common, it called for people like Gardner to find spies, many of whom worked in the government. I am glad there are people who have this ability, especially when it comes to dealing with those who hearts are aimed at evil purposes.
Most of us would look at a sheet of numbers and see nothing – I struggle with Sudoku puzzles. But in the first century people heard a strange sort of story being told by Jesus and wondered how they would figure it out. Men and women were confronted by parables and experienced a similar reaction as some of us would feel if asked to figure out a puzzle of numbers.
Parables are usually stories designed to explain a simple truth, but parables about the Kingdom of God were designed to hide the truth from certain people. That is why Jesus had to explain them to His disciples. His religious enemies and critics just walked away understanding nothing – ignorant and blind as ever.
Read Matthew 13:10-17.
As we study the Bible today, we will often come across content and ideas that seem hard to figure out and understand, especially in a world that ignores and trivializes God’s wisdom. But Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will guide us into truth. He said the Spirit will enlighten us about truth in Scripture and show us how to apply it to our lives, so we can become more like Him.
If you have never trusted in Christ, you do not yet have the Holy Spirit to lean on to help you. The Bible may seem like an awkward book of ideas, stories, teachings and narratives. Your first step is to begin a relationship with God through Christ. The ability to understand Scripture is just one of the benefits of knowing Jesus.
If you have trusted Jesus, ask the Spirit to guide your reading and study. He inspired the writing of Scripture. He knows your heart. He can make God’s Word clear to you and then empower you to practice what you read and become convinced of. He even motivated Gordon Fee and Doug Stuart to write How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, and How to Read the Bible Book by Book, as helpful tools to aid us in our growth, so pick up a copy of each for your library.
Hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on Scripture involves no decoding ability or math skills – just a trusting heart – open to the wisdom of the Word of God. Ask the Spirit to guide your study of Scripture. May you see and understand God’s character and purposes more clearly. Grow devotionally. To better understand the Bible, consult the Author.
Love is a verb,
©2013 by Mike Olejarz