The hearts of these people are hardened | Matthew 13:10-17

Scripture:Matthew 13:10-17 [NLT]10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘ Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,And seeing you will see and notperceive;15For the hearts of this people have grown dull.Their earsare hard of hearing,And their eyes they haveclosed,Lest they should see withtheireyes and hear withtheirears,Lest they should understand withtheirhearts and turn,So that Ishouldheal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, 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. (Matthew 13:10-17, New King James Version)

Observation: (What do you see when you read this scripture?)

Jesus had been teaching for quite a while at this point. We know that he had started teaching in the synagogue at the age of 12. He must have experienced the frustration of being misunderstood while speaking plain simple truth. He understood that it was a desire to know the Will of God AND to follow His Will that is key to understanding. Parables were an effective way to get people to see the truth of the Father's Will and Character, a good way to get them to think on these things.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, He knew that. The disciples wanted to understand why He didn't just "say it plainly"...often we even may think that. I've heard good Christian people and even myself at times say, "Why isn't there just a simple to-do list from God that tells me what to do?" The answer to that question is here in this scripture....because we would not really listen. It is only with a changed and submitted heart and a desire to do the Will of God that we can start to understand things that pertain to the Kingdom of heaven. It is only as we start to desire the things of the Kingdom, as we start to desire them more than the things of the world, that we can begin to understand them.

Anyone can call themselves a Christian. Anyone can go through the motions and join a local church and sit in a pew. Anyone can sing the latest songs and join the best bible studies and use the best "Jesus words". Anyone can go to Christian concerts and buy the fish sticker for their car and pray for their favorite basketball team. Anyone can feed a hungry man, or put money in the offering plate; preach a good sermon or watch VeggieTales....but not everyone will give their heart to Jesus.

Check your heart. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Only you know the state of your heart; only I know, the state of my own heart. Be real with God, there really is no other choice, you can't fool Him and He loves you enough to tell you the truth always.

Apply: (How can I apply this to my life?)

I need to check my heart and be sure that it is in Jesus' hands and covered by His righteousness, and not in my own weak and powerless hands. Checking...

Prayer: (Let Him know what you think and feel)

Dear Lord,

I give you my life today. I will struggle. I will go my own way many times...but please know that it is the deepest desire of my heart to be with You.

Thank You for all that You provide. Thank You for bringing my daughter home for awhile. Please keep her safe in Alaska and give us a safe trip. Please give me the right words to say to her during our trip...I so want her to know Your love Lord. She needs it so badly...this world is chewing her up...slowly.

Please bless our bible study group and most of all help us to stay on Your path and not stray into our own. I love you Jesus and I ask you to cover me with your righteousness; forgive my sins. Amen.