1Timothy 3:16 says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed, and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. The New Testament is a revelation, or an unveiling, of the Old Testament. Those things that were mysteries in the Old Testament are no longer mysteries in the new. Some times Christians are looking for some deep mystery in the New Testament, when it has already been made plain by the Holy Spirit. We should not look past the obvious text of the New covenant to find some mysterious meaning. It is true, that as you prayerfully study the New Testament, you will find deeper meaning every time you read it. However, as the old saying goes, if the plain sense makes the most sense – then seek no other sense. You will have your hands full enough with the obvious revealed truths of the Bible to keep you busy for the rest of your Christian life.
The Greek word musterion, translated mystery, means a secret or hidden thing, not obvious to the understanding. As stated, the OT is full of mysteries, or hidden things, that are made known in the NT. Many ancient cults and orders are full of mysteries that only a select few may know as they ascend the different levels of their religion. Often times these cults are sworn to secrecy, and put themselves under a curse - even death - if they reveal them. In contrast, the mystery of the Gospel is to be shouted from the roof tops! It is made known to anyone who has “ears to hear”, and is to be published through out all the world. The mystery is no longer a mystery! Praise God we live on this side of the cross!
In Mt. 13:10-11, the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables. Jesus told them that it was given unto them (all of His disciples, who had ears to hear, Mk 4:10) to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, or of God. Was Jesus exclusive? Can only certain chosen ones know the mysteries of the Kingdom? Since the Bible says that it is God's will that all be saved an come to repentance (1Tim 2:4, 2Pt 3:9, Tit 2:11), we can be sure that Jesus is not leaving anyone out. So what is Jesus saying? He is saying that only those who have ears to hear (Mt 13:9) will understand the mystery. Not all who followed Jesus were truly seeking the things of God. Many were following Jesus to get physically fed, or to see some miracle. Such is the case today. We must ask ourselves why we follow Jesus. Do we just want our bellies filled? Are we miracle chasers? Do we seek Jesus wholeheartedly, wanting His life and wisdom to be working in our life and changing us – or do we just just seek to have our carnal needs met? If we have ears to hear, a heart that is truly pursuing the things of God, then the mystery of the Kingdom will be made known to us. Whosoever has ears to hear, let him hear.
The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit God, for they are foolishness to him. He cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1Cor 2:14). You see, the heart of the natural man is shrouded by a veil. It is blinded by the god of this world (satan) to the things of God. However, when their hearts turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away, and they can see clearly the mysteries of God (2Cor 3:14-17, Rom 11:25). That is why we should not cast our pearls before swine (Mt 7:6). What does this mean? It means that as you preach salvation through Jesus Christ, if the hearers don't want to hear it – then don't waste your time. This is why Jesus spoke in parables. You had to want to know the things of God, before you could receive them. There has to be a pursuit of God to know the things of God. Those who are spiritually lazy and indifferent – or even hostile – will remain blind by their own choice.
Does not a man pursue the woman he loves? Does he not come early, stay late, comb his hair, and brush his teeth? Does he not call, write, e-mail, and text his love? Does he not take her out, buy her gifts, and give her as much of his time as he can? Of course he does. He wants her. He pursues her. So it is with Jesus Christ. You must want Jesus. You must pursue the things of God. If you don't, then you won't have Him; and you will have no one to blame but yourself. It's easy to be saved – if you want to be. It's easy to know the mysteries of God – if you want to know them. It's up to you. If a police investigator had a mystery to solve, he would have to put forth effort to solve it. If he just said, “Well, I hope this gets figured out someday. I'm going for pizza.”, then he probably wouldn't have a job very long. It is his duty to try every means available to solve the mystery.
The great mystery of Godliness has been revealed. If you want to know it, then you can know it. Seek and you shall find, ask and you shall receive, knock and it will be opened up to you today. Until next time, rejoice in the Lord!