1 Corinthians 2:7 speaks about God’s secret wisdom: “No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.”
A secret is something that is not known to others…so what is this secret wisdom that has been hidden before time began? And where can I find it if it has been hidden?
Psalm 78:2 says “I will open my mouth with a parable;
I will utter hidden things, things from of old-”
Here again we see that something has been hidden, but at least we get a clue as to where or how they have been hidden – in parables.
At the first coming Jesus’ disciples ask him why he speaks to the people in parables (Mt 13:10). Jesus replied and says “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” (Mt 13:11). Jesus spoke about the secrets of heaven using a figurative language when a large crowd gathered in a public place, but Jesus explained the parables when he was alone with his disciples (Mk 4:34). He was clearly giving his disciples understanding of the secrets of heaven through these parables and their explanations, but because they are secrets, not everyone is trusted with them – “given to you, but not to them”.
Reading Matthew 13:35 you can see that the prophecy of Psalm 78:2 is fulfilled through Jesus (note the subscript). But at the first coming Jesus did not only fulfill the Old Testament prophecies, he also spoke about future events and signs of his second coming, particularly in these chapters Matthew 24-25, John 14-16. However, reading these chapters it becomes obvious that Jesus was still using parables and a figurative language to explain these future events and signs…so they appear to still be hidden.
These signs and parables apply to us today – those waiting for Jesus’ return – but if we do not have true understanding of these parables and this figurative language how are we going to be able to recognize Jesus when he returns? How will we be any better than the Pharisees at the first coming? And how will we attain salvation, since Hebrews 9:28 says “so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.”…?