icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle

Another Perspective

The Secret of the Kingdom of God

People on a spiritual quest often are unclear about what exactly it is they are seeking. In St. Mark's Gospel (4:10-12) Jesus offers us a clue. What the spiritual quest is about, Jesus says here, is finding what he calls "the kingdom of God."

Jesus continues by identifying what separates those who are able to find the kingdom of God from those who can not. Those unable to know the kingdom of God can hear teachings about it, listen and listen, but never perceive it, never understand its nature. These people, Mark quotes Jesus as saying, "avoid changing their ways and being healed."

As a psychotherapist it is clear who gets it and who does not. It has nothing to do with living by the right morals. Many of the people who don't know the kingdom have better values and morals than those who do. How's that for being paradoxical? But it is true.

In my mind what separates those who "get it" from those who don't is the ability to see below the surface, to be conscious of the Spirit within. The story of the Potter illustrates this point.

A nobleman is riding through a village long ago when he sees a potter at work. He stops to view the pots and finds them extraordinarily beautiful. He asks the potter how he is able to execute with such grace, such strength, yet with such delicacy of design? The potter replies: "Oh, you are looking at merely the outward shape; what I am forming lies within. The only thing I am interested in is what remains after the pot is broken."

Those of us who can allow ourselves to be open to what lies below the surface of our personalities, who can value what is forming within and what will remain after the pot is broken, these are the individuals to whom the secret of the kingdom of God is given.

While St. Mark's intent is clearly to contrast two different kinds of people, those to whom the secret has been given with those to whom it has not, this teaching can be understood also as giving us clues for finding our way on our spiritual quests.
Post a comment