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The Secret of the Kingdom of God

A while ago, in my first year of college, I was apart of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. I joined the fellowship and began an inductive study of the gospel according to Mark. At this point in college, I was developing a love/hate relationship with the gospel. (Jesus and I often fought and I was rather angry about many things.)

One night, we studied Mark 4:10-12. I’ve reproduced the ESV translation here:

10 And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, 12 so that

‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’

To study this, we broke up in pairs and came up with questions. Immediately, I honed in on the phrase, “the secret of the kingdom of God” and had only one question: “What is the secret of the kingdom of God?” I brought this up to my partner and he kind of rolled his eyes. (I had a reputation for asking impossible questions.) I pushed and pushed and so we put the question to our group. The group wasn’t sure the question was answerable. Finally, we asked the leader of our group and to all our surprise he said he thought it was answerable. We spent the next hour and a half trying to understand what the secret of the kingdom of God was.

Try as we might, we could come to no clear resolution by the end of the night. Many people at this point left but a few of us stayed behind. We stayed behind to ask Sam (our leader) more directly, “What is the secret of the kingdom of God?” We did not know that once we had stayed behind and chosen to ask what it meant that to us had been given the secret of the kingdom of God. Then Sam told us what it was and we saw that it was right under our noses the whole time.