you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,
how often I have longed to gather your children together,
as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
and you were not willing.
Jesus was the last in a long line of prophets who tried to awaken Israel from her spiritual slumber. The consistent rejection of Jesus’ message is about to climax. And as we will see this Sunday, Jesus is about to change tactics, turning to parables, narrowing the impact of his message. Why parables?
In Matthew, Jesus’ disciples asked Him that question, and He answered with the following:
“To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 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.”
“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. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 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.’
But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 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” MATTHEW13:10-17
The book of Hebrews warns us:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts…”
That is a possibility. Let’s not let that happen. Rather this Sunday, let’s come with open hearts prepared to listen, ready to respond in obedient submission to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.