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When being questioned by the high priest about what he was teaching he replies that he has no secrets and he should ask those who heard him teach:

NASB John 18: 19The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching. 20Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret. 21“Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said.” 22When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, “Is that the way You answer the high priest?” 23Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” 24So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

However, Matthew says that Jesus only spoke publicly in enigmas and gave secret information to his disciples:

NASB Matthew 13: 10And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12“For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

We also see this in Mark:

BSB Mark 4: 33With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, to the extent that they could understand. 34He did not say anything to them without a parable. But privately He explained all things to His own disciples.

Was his answer to the high priest duplicitous?

  • Speaking in secret and speaking secrets publicly are different things entirely. – Sola Gratia Jul 16 '19 at 11:13
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Neither Matthew nor Mark say that Jesus spoke in "enigmas" or "gave secret information".

Both sources say that he spoke in parables. An enigma is not the same as a parable.

A parable (Greek παραβολή), according to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.

"Enigma" comes from a different Greek word (αἴνιγμα) and means (again according to the COED) a mysterious or puzzling person or thing. The Greek word is perhaps best translated as "riddle".

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  • The point is though that he spoke plainly to the disciples about the meaning while he spoke a farming story publicly which is not what he tells the high priest. – Ruminator Oct 2 '17 at 23:47
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No, His response wasn't decietful, because what He said was true

Matthew 13:10-13

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

We see that his parabolic teaching is not 'in secret.' They see, they hear; thus, they can testify to that same teaching—they are indeed "those who have heard what I spoke to them" and "they know what [He] said".

It's just that in order to understand the mysteries being taught therein, one needs to be properly disposed for such by spiritual openness. The parable is simply another form of the mystery.

The Apostles need the understanding 'from the source' and not from some form of reflection, because they will be commissioned to teach it to all nations.

Thus, the passage in Mark doesn't mean Jesus is teaching something different or secret to His disciples in private, only that He is explaining it to them, whereas He left it to be figured out by His audience:

Mark 4:33-34

With many such parables Jesus spoke the word to them, to the extent that they could understand. He did not say anything to them without a parable. But privately He explained all things to His own disciples.

Not being able to understand the teaching being preached, is not the same as teaching in secret (whose impliciations was that the teaching was of a conspiratorial or 'underground', deviant nature—that's the implicit charge He is countering).

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  • But was it complete? Didn't he just tell a farming story publicly while to the disciples he explained the story? – Ruminator Oct 2 '17 at 23:48
  • His parables are given to all equally, but some don't have the spiritual acuity. It was complete as a jigsaw (albeit a simple one) is complete. Jesus expects a certain spiritual disposition to be able to understand His teaching, just as one expects a certain mental faculty in order to complete a puzzle. But none of the pieces are ever given only to some, in secret. It's about disposition to recieving the word, which the Parable of the Sower is about. (By the way, for the purposes of Jesus' trial, they needed but to have heard His teaching only. Not even to have understood a word). – Sola Gratia Oct 3 '17 at 10:04
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That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mark 4:12.

They were given every opportunity to see and hear. But perceiving and hearing (aright, by faith) are gifts from God.

The rich, he sendeth away empty. But blessed are the poor in spirit.

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  • But the stories were intended to obscure the information while his private teaching was intended to elucidate it, no? – Ruminator Oct 2 '17 at 23:49
  • @Ruminator No. There was no obscurity at all. Not if one's eyes have been opened. But some are too proud to ask for his healing. So they never see. – Nigel J Oct 2 '17 at 23:52
  • However, the disciples didn't understand it either without explanation. They too were "fools and slow in heart to believe". [Luk 24:25-27 KJV] (25) Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: (26) Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? (27) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. – Ruminator Jul 17 '19 at 13:07

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