Seeing and Hearing

df334b2da9a24cd9ab93614795e0b72c Matthew 13:10-17 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 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. 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. 14 “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’ 16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Today we read the dialogue between Jesus and His disciples that appears in the middle of His parable of the sower and the explanation. Jesus explains that the purpose of parables is the fulfillment of a prophecy spoken through Isaiah that we read in Isaiah 6. Do you notice how the disciples are able to understand and see? It is only possible through Jesus’ explanation. Jesus did more than just die for our sins; He opened the floodgates of heaven for us so that it can rain down upon earth. Our defiance against God blocks us from receiving His wisdom, blessing, and power because we want to be god instead of humbling ourselves to Him. As we read in Isaiah, God purposes the people to be hard of understanding so that more might come to Him and understand the importance of having a relationship with Him. I know this might not make complete sense to us, but let’s not forget that because of the Jews rejecting Christ, He was crucified so that all might be saved and His Spirit poured out among the Gentiles as well as the Jews. If Jesus’ audience was fully understanding and wholly committed, then the movement would have stopped there and He certainly wouldn’t have been crucified. This wasn’t God’s will nor was it His goal. The ignorance and stubbornness of man is how He saved us all, just as the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 8:

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Let us also note, however, that Jesus’ disciples didn’t fully understand the parables on their own either. As we continue reading through Matthew, we will see many times when Jesus tells a parable and His followers have to ask, “what do you mean by this?” Their understanding (and likewise our own) comes through asking and seeking the truth from Jesus. Sometimes we think that it is our own wisdom that grants us understanding of God, but it is Jesus who reveals to us His truth. This is the power of His love and grace in our lives. That not only did He save us, but He opens our eyes so that we can see and our minds so that we can understand what we are seeing. Do you need Jesus to open your ears, eyes, and heart? What don’t you understand? Will you ask Him for understanding?

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