Here are just two things that hinder a clear understanding of the Bible.
Number one, the harsh reality is that our own relatives can prevent a clear understanding of the Bible. The Bible itself attests to this. In Matthew 19:29, Jesus says, Everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life. And earlier in the same book, chapter 10 verses 34-37, He teaches His apostles, Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.
It’s no wonder that good church families are split when a youth gets on his own and switches allegiances to a denomination. Some in the family may want to follow the youth in order to keep peace in the family, while others stand their ground, and a regular family feud can erupt. Jesus taught that this would happen. The same happens when an older family member stays in a church that has slipped into a false teaching, and another member of her family attempt to lovingly teach her what the Bible says about the issue. Again, the family is divided. Some believe the false teaching and others are not. That’s the very reason some families even have a rule that they don’t discuss politics or religion.
So one thing that hinders a clear understanding of the Bible is relatives.
A second thing that hinders a clear understanding of the Bible is pride. Proverbs 14:12 states that there is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. Likewise in chapter 16 verse 18 of the same book, a popular verse says, Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling. Revelation 3:17 and 18 agrees, when Jesus says, Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see.
It may, at first, seem strange that you could be naked and not know it; it’s kind of weird that I could be blind and would not be aware of it – but that’s the extreme of what pride can do. It takes your wealth, it strips you, and it blinds you so you can’t see the correct path. In short, this haughtiness – this pride – hinders people from understanding the Word of God.
Moses said that we can all see the things that have been revealed to us by the Lord our God (Deuteronomy 29:29). John 20:31 explains that the Gospel was written that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing we may have life in His name. These and other spokesmen for God have declared that, through study of the Scriptures, we are enabled to see them alike.
So what hinders you? Do you have relatives that are holding you back or does your pride keep you from admitting that you are naked and blind? Perhaps you give in to peer pressure, or you have been taught something all your life, and nostalgia prevents you from seeing the truth. Or maybe you simply have too much of the devil in your heart. What is it that prevents you from accepting your salvation – from repenting, confessing, and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins?
The Lord has not made Himself convenient in this sense, has He? It’s difficult to shed all that hinders you and make the bold decision that brings you to a clearer understanding of the Bible. Difficult, but essential!