February 26

Matthew 13:13-15 13This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: "'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'

The disciples couldn't understand why Jesus spoke in parables. The natural man would think that a smooth compelling message would draw more people to the cause. Jesus was after more than numbers. He was seeking to draw people into a kingdom. This required a changed heart, not merely a convinced mind. People will follow the intelligent speaker because of his or her ability to persuade. Then someone a little more persuasive comes along and they follow that person. Jesus was seeking heart relationships more than persuading minds.

Parables had to be interpreted by the Holy Spirit. A heart that knew it was helpless would seek to understand and the Holy Spirit would help them find. Revelation brings transformation. There is a personal interaction with the Holy Spirit. It has nothing to do with the persuasion of men, but everything to do with the power of interaction with God. This will never happen if the heart is calloused. There must be the recognition of sin and need of a Savior.

If Jesus had spoken plainly, the hardhearted in the crowds would be even more accountable on the Day of Judgment. It is the grace of God that Jesus spoke in parables, that the hungry might find a personal interaction with the Holy Spirit, and that the calloused in heart might not have increased condemnation. He is speaking in parables today, too. Your days are filled with them. Do you have eyes to see? Are your ears hearing? It all depends on the condition of your heart. We can all ask for the mercy and grace of God to soften our hearts so that they will be sensitive to what He is speaking to us.

Prayer: Lord, help me to see how much I need You. Soften my heart that I might receive what you are saying to me.