Today's verses are Mark 4:33,34: "With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.  He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything." Parables were the major way Jesus tried to explain "the word" of God's kingdom to those listening to him.  For his opponents, it was his major way of trying to explain to them the truth of God's kingdom coming to earth in him, "as they were able to hear it."  As we've already seen, many of their hearts (and ears) were hard soil, unable to accept the seed of the word when it came to them.  Many simply were not able to hear him, much less turn to him.

However, for his disciples, he would explain the meaning of the parables to them in private.  Their hearts were open, ready, to receive God's word.  They were hungry and thirsty for God's righteous kingdom in their hearts.  Therefore, Jesus was more than ready to teach them the deeper meaning of the parables.  Moreover, "he did not speak to them without a parable" does not mean he never taught without using a parable but was a broad generalization meaning he regularly included parables in his teaching.  He wanted them to learn.  He wanted them to grow.

These verses point us to the need for good teachers in our Christian growth.  Jesus had to take all his disciples aside and teach them the deeper meaning of the parables.  The students wanted to learn.  But they needed the aid of a teacher with more knowledge.

So do we.  There are certain aspects of theology, Bible, ethics and practical living that demand someone who knows more than we do simply to teach us.  God has gifted certain people to be able to explain the depths and mysteries of the faith we've not yet learned.  We need to meet with them in a classroom setting, or in private, to continue to plumb the depths of all Jesus wants us to know.

Find these teachers in your life!  It can be online, on television, on radio or through books.  They can be found in church classes, in seminary or over coffee.  Find them!  Know one knows everything.

They are necessary for continued spiritual growth!