Matthew 13: 10. And his disciples approached and said to him, “Why do you speak in parables to them? 11. And he answered and said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery[*] of the Kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them. 12. For to him who has, it will be given to him and it will increase to him, and to him who has not, even that which he has will be taken from him.
13. Because of this, I will speak in parables with them because they see, and they see not, and they hear and they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14. And is fulfilled in them the prophecy of Yesha’yahu which said that, “Hearing, and you will not understand what you will hear, and seeing you will see not know what you see.” (AENT)
Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven is the spiritual nature of Mashiyach revealed throughout the Tanakh and NT, it relates to the spiritual man more than a consciousness of knowing about Heaven or salvation. In Proverbs it is revealed; “For the obstinate are an abomination to YHWH: but His secret (sod) is with the righteous” (Proverbs 3:32), the secret is the power of spiritual life within the Kingdom of Heaven. “Have you heard the mystery (sod) of Elohim?” (Job 15:8)
The mystery of Elohim denotes the nature of Mashiyach and righteousness within the inner man. “Surely Elohim YHWH will do nothing, but that He reveals His secret (sod) to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7); YHWH reveals future events from the spiritual to natural worlds with those who pursue righteousness. The mystery unfolds when one realizes that; “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create calamity: I YHWH do all these things” (Isaiah 45:7).
The word “sod” is also repeatedly used by Paul through its Aramaic synonym and cognate araza (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:51). It is the highest level of interpretation of Scripture (PaRDeS). The word “pardes” literally means “paradise” or “orchard”; the latter harking back to the primordial Garden of Eden. But it also is an acrostic, meaning this word is derived from the first letters of each word in a phrase.
In this case PRDS comes from “pshat” (plain meanings of Scripture), “remez” (hints of deeper meanings in words of a scriptural passage), “drash” (comparisons of places in Scripture where the word/concept is used) and, of course, “sod”.
The idea is that if you can find and enter (apply) all the levels of meaning in Scripture you can attain Paradise. The believer understands that cerebral knowledge is nothing without applied faith as manifested through obedience and good works. By entering into Mashiyach and observing Torah the new spiritual man differentiates the things of the Kingdom of Heaven from the religious masks that obscure the hidden spirituality of Mashiyach.
Most importantly however is the absolute command that these steps be taken one at a time and in their proper order. If we “skip” a step or downplay intermediate steps in our studies, the end result will be confusion and error. This is why the Rabbis limited the study of the mystical traditions to those 40 years old and older, and even then, they were required to have special rabbinic training from a very young age to qualify.
Such also explains this warning from the Jewish historian Philo (ca. 20 BCE to 50 CE) who wrote: “The sacred and mystic statements about the one uncreated Being, and about his powers, ought to be kept secret; since it does not belong to everyone to keep the deposit of divine mysteries properly.”