Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
Observation: I had a great conversation yesterday with two young people at the church about understanding scripture. They told me that it is two hard to understand scripture for someone that does not understand the context of the writing. However, I explained to them if they would only read the context, as well as whatever scripture passage they are focusing on, the context and footnotes would explain to them what God is revealing to them in that particular scripture. Anyway, I also used the parables of Jesus as a further explanation of why they may find it difficult to understand scripture. It is my understanding that Jesus was trying to get people to understand the scripture by seeking it on their own, not by merely handing it to them. I think the point is that you only find truly valuable something that costs something. Although the Word of God is valuable on it own, we only find its true value when we study it on our own, with the grace and inspiration of the holy Spirit.
23 The first two of the last three parables of the discourse have the same point. The person who finds a buried treasure and the merchant who finds a pearl of great price sell all that they have to acquire these finds; similarly, the one who understands the supreme value of the kingdom gives up whatever he must to obtain it. The joy with which this is done is made explicit in the first parable, but it may be presumed in the second also.
24 In the unsettled conditions of Palestine in Jesus’ time, it was not unusual to guard valuables by burying them in the ground.