Matthew 13 (Amplified Bible)
11And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
Mark 4 (Amplified Bible)
11And He said to them, To you has been entrusted the mystery of the kingdom of God [that is, [a]the secret counsels of God which are hidden from the ungodly]; but for those outside [[b]of our circle] everything becomes a parable,
+++"To this question Christ answers largely, v. 11-17, where he tells them, that therefore he preached by parables, because thereby the things of God were made more plain and easy to them who were willingly ignorant; and thus the gospel would be a savour of life to some, and of death to others. A parable, like the pillar of cloud and fire, turns a dark side towards Egyptians, which confounds them, but a light side towards Israelites, which comforts them, and so answers a double intention. The same light directs the eyes of some, but dazzles the eyes of others. Now,
1. This reason is laid down (v. 11): Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. That is, (1.) The disciples had knowledge, but the people had not. You know already something of these mysteries, and need not in this familiar way to be instructed; but the people are ignorant, are yet but babes, and must be taught as such by plain similitudes, being yet incapable of receiving instruction in any other way: for though they have eyes, they know not how to use them; so some. Or, (2.) The disciples were well inclined to the knowledge of gospel mysteries, and would search into the parables, and by them would be led into a more intimate acquaintance with those mysteries; but the carnal hearers that rested in bare hearing, and would not be at the pains to look further, nor to ask the meaning of the parables, would be never the wiser, and so would justly suffer for their remissions. A parable is a shell that keeps good fruit for the diligent, but keeps it from the slothful. Note, There are mysteries in the kingdom of heaven, and without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: Christ's incarnation, satisfaction, intercession, our justification and sanctification by union with Christ, and indeed the whole work of redemption, from first to last, are mysteries, which could never have been discovered but by divine revelation (1 Cor. xv. 51), were at this time discovered but in part to the disciples, and will never be fully discovered till the veil shall be rent; but the mysteriousness of gospel truth should not discourage us from, but quicken us in, our enquiries after it and searches into it. [1.] It is graciously given to the disciples of Christ to be acquainted with these mysteries. Knowledge is the first gift of God, and it is a distinguishing gift (Prov. ii. 6); it was given to the apostles, because they were Christ's constant followers and attendants. Note, The nearer we draw to Christ, and the more we converse with him, the better acquainted we shall be with gospel mysteries. [2.] It is given to all true believers, who have an experimental knowledge of the gospel mysteries, and that is without doubt the best knowledge: a principle of grace in the heart, is that which makes men of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, and in the faith of Christ, and so in the meaning of parables; and for want of that, Nicodemus, a master in Israel, talked of the new birth as a blind man of colours. [3.] There are those to whom this knowledge is not given, and a man can receive nothing unless it be given him from above (John iii. 27); and be it remembered that God is debtor to no man; his grace is his own; he gives or withholds it at pleasure (Rom. xi. 35); the difference must be resolved into God's sovereignty, as before, ch. xi. 25, 26."