Difficult Bible Passages

There are passages in the Bible that are difficult to understand. We have been running into many of them in the men’s class. Passages that talk about predestination or God punishing children for their father’s sin can be difficult. The truth is that different passages will be more or less difficult for different people.

Why didn’t God clearly explain everything? Some passages are difficult because God wanted them to be difficult. That seems to go against our understanding that God wants us to understand His Word, but it actually does not. Jesus preached in parables many times — why? Matthew 13:10-16 tells us. God wants us to be interested enough to dig for answers. Difficult passages let people who are not really interested read it and still be in complete ignorance.

“Why do I have trouble understanding passages?” When you first begin studying the Bible, you will find many things that are hard to understand. When you begin studying biology, the idea of cells may be difficult. After time, it is simple and new ideas are difficult. The more you know, the more you will understand. Reading through the Bible many times will help you understand the passages you have trouble understanding.

It also depends on what you are interested in. For example, I am not interested in cars. If you talk to me about a V8 engine, I really don’t have any idea what that means. I just don’t care. If I talk with you about computer programming, you probably won’t understand it because it isn’t interesting to you. We need to make knowing what God wants from us to be interesting to us.

Thaxter Dickey suggested that we should read the Bible like you would read a letter from an old parent. If your old mother wrote to you, she would not have to ask you directly to do something for her. If she mentions something that is broken around the house or something, you will go to fix it. You would look at the letter carefully to see if you can do something for them. We should read the Bible in the same way. Find out what God wants by reading it carefully and looking for anything we can do.

John 6 has an account of Jesus speaking a way that was hard to understand. It is the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 men. We find that the people did not understand the sign. They were only interested in the food, so Jesus talked to them in a way that was hard to understand. He was telling them great spiritual truths, but in a way that they would not understand. If we do not care about those things, we will not the time to find out what He meant by those sayings either.

Be interested in what God wants from you. If you are only interested in proving what you already believe, you won’t learn. Read the entire Bible, not just parts. Dig deeper — even in places where it seems easy to understand. God has not made the Bible difficult to understand. He has made it so that it is a joy to study for those who are truly interested in His will, but boring to those who do not care.