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Don't shoot your eyes out

            Matthew 13:15- {Quoted from Isaiah 6:10}

  “For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, so that I should heal them.”

This quotation of Isaiah 6:10 by Jesus was spoken in response to an inquiry of the disciples. Just prior to Jesus making this statement, He had spoken the parable of the sower and the seed to the multitudes. The disciples asked Him directly why He spoke to the multitudes in parables and why He spoke more plainly to them. Jesus’ response at first can seem cold and disheartening. In His answer, He illustrated that to the disciples it had been given to understand the parables, but to the multitudes it had not been given. The reason that this was so, however had nothing to do with God as such. In the study verse above, we learn that it was the multitudes who had closed their own eyes. The verse literally says, “their eyes they have closed”. There are a couple of points regarding this that I would like to make.        

    First, God was honoring the decision of the people as a whole by speaking to them in parables. This was not His intention nor will. No He wanted to be able to show them wonderful things from His word, but they would not allow Him. If this is so, and it is, then why did He speak to them at all? That is a bit of an esoteric answer. You see, God states in 1 Corinthians 10:13, that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear and that with each temptation, He makes a way of escape. Furthermore, in Matthew 13:19, Jesus states that when the word is preached and someone doesn’t understand it, then the wicked one can steal it out of their hearts immediately. When we combine these two verses, we understand that God had an obligation to Himself to communicate the kingdom of heaven to the multitudes because if He didn’t then they could claim that they were tempted to follow the wicked one with no way of escape. However, because they had blinded their own eyes, they would not be able to comprehend the principles of salvation and because they couldn’t understand them, the devil could steal any word of God sown into their hearts. Thus, it was of necessity that Jesus Christ conveyed the truths of the kingdom of heaven, of salvation to the multitudes in parabolic form!

        The natural question now remaining is how exactly did the multitudes choose their own blindness? The divine response to that is found in Romans 1:21. 

    Romans 1:21

“because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

The way that the multitudes blinded themselves to the word of God was by failing to glorify and be thankful to God! It is interesting that the reason wasn’t because they sinned by not making this sacrifice or that sacrifice. When one is thankful to God and when one glorifies God as God, then they will automatically begin to obey God. The reason that obedience to God ensues following gratitude and glorification is because these actions take faith. It takes faith to thank a God you cannot see and obey dictates that aren’t always what you want to do that were set forth by this same God of the unseen. And, as we have learned from Abraham, when we walk by faith, God counts it toward us for righteousness. God does not count our actions as righteousness, but for righteousness, which means that once we are thankful to and glorify God, we have the ability to walk righteously. 

    Beloved, do not think of yourselves so meanly as to assume that you do not need to seek to understand the word of God. On the contrary, honor God as God by seeking to understand His word, listen to what He says and being thankful to Him when you see His word manifest. Then your eyes will be open and then it will be given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. 

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