His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. John 16:29
Can you imagine what it must have felt like for the disciples to hear Jesus speak plainly? It must have been one of those giddy moments or an Ah! Ah! moment. I don’t know, I was not there, but you could tell it surprised them. They’ve had to listen to Jesus speak in parables for three years. Yes, they probably scratched their heads on several occasions, wondering what the Master meant. But this time. This time. They understood and they were amazed.
So, on the night of His betrayal, Jesus chose to speak plainly to His disciples. Why? I have this theory. I believe Jesus not only spoke in parables to keep people like the Pharisees from understanding the truth. I believe He spoke in parables to keep Judas from knowing it.
You see, Jesus knew He had a traitor in His midst. He wasn’t about to give the traitor any more information than He needed. He wasn’t about to give the traitor something that might prevent him from carrying out his evil act against Jesus.
And yet, that night Jesus chose to speak to them in plain Aramaic. Why? I believe He said what He said, because Judas was not there. He was nowhere to be found. And the next time he would see them would not be as a disciple, but a traitor.
Think about your life. What happens when you’re planning something you don’t want so and so to know about. And when that person enters the room, what do you and your friends do? You change the subject, right on cue. Suddenly, instead of talking about Aunt Matildas 75th birthday bash, you switch to the weather or something else, because Aunt Matilda entered the room.
I can think of times I’ve been at meetings where I had competitors at the same convention. I can tell you I was very careful about what I said, because the competition was also there and I sure did not want to give away any trade secrets.
So Jesus talked with His disciples, prior to praying for them. And Jesus astonishes them with His plain speech.
This of course is pure conjecture on my part. However, it makes sense. It’s how we would respond. It may be another reason Jesus invited only James, Peter and John to speak to them alone or show them something amazing, like the transfiguration, and then ask them not to share it with anyone. Again, I believe Jesus wanted to keep His Messianic identity from Judas.
Yes, the disciples spent three years with Jesus. Yet, most never really understood who He was until that night, the night He chose to speak plainly to them.
What about you? Is God speaking plainly to your heart? Or is there some reason you are not hearing Him clearly? God wants to speak to you. He wants you to know Him and His desires for your life. To know these, all you need to do is submit to Him. Make Him Lord of your life, then read His Word and follow after Him. He will speak to your heart. And one day, you may say to Him, “Now I understand.”
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