What Does Matthew 13:14 Mean?

Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says: You will listen and listen, yet never understand; and you will look and look, yet never perceive.

Matthew 13:14(HCSB)

Verse Thoughts

The prophesied Messiah of Israel had come to deliver His people from the bondage of sin, but they rejected Him. The King of the Jews had come to set up His promised kingdom (where God rules over all), but the nation denounced the Lord Jesus and accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Satan, and in rebellion would cry: "We will not have this Man to rule over us."

A critical moment had arrived when the Lord Jesus started to set aside His temporal, earthly ties in order to develop an eternal, spiritual bond with all who would believe on His name - and so we read that Jesus started to teach the people in parables so that although they heard His Messianic teachings and saw His Messianic signs, they would not understand His Messianic message: that He was the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.

The promised Son of God had finally arrived to save the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but their hearts had been hardened to such an extent that even though Christ came unto them to set up His own Messianic kingdom, they rejected Him and would not receive Him. But even in this national rejection of Christ, there was individual salvation: "But as many as received Him to them gave He the power to become Sons of God, even to those that believe on His name."

It was the hardness of the nation's heart that dictated that Christ started to speak to them in parables at this point in His ministry, because they had proved that their interest in Him was superficial, temporal, and selfish.

Christ would not cast His pearls before swine and so by means of parables, the truths which He was about to teach would be made clear to all who would trust Him as Saviour - yet they were hidden from the unbelieving crowd.

The secrets of the kingdom had been hidden from before the foundation of the world and were a 'mystery' to humanity at large, the prophets of old, and even to the angelic host. And although the major mysteries of the Church (which is His Body) would be revealed to Paul, it was at this point in Christ's ministry that He started to give a glimpse into the mysteries of the kingdom - to all who had ears to hear.

The Messiah of Israel and God's anointed but rejected King is now seated on the right hand of the Father. And we who are in Christ can be used to forward the message of salvation, which Christ came to deliver and the gospel of grace - where sinners may be saved by grace through faith in the only begotten Son of God.

Let us be those that produce fruit: good fruit, much fruit, and more fruit. Let us be them that are fruitful in this dispensation of grace, and multiply our talent: twenty-fold, fifty-fold, and even one hundred-fold.

He Who began a good work in each of our lives will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus. Let us abide in Him, listen to His voice, be guided by the Holy Spirit, and live by faith and not by sight - to His praise and glory.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that I am part of Your Body, and the truth of salvation in the finished work of Christ has been granted to me, by grace through faith. Open my ears to hear Your voice and to understand the truths that are hidden in Your Word. May I grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus and be used by You to forward Your kingdom as You see fit. Thy will be done. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

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