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Feb 4 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

Day Forty-Two – Matthew 13:10-17

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

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,

You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive.
Matthew 13:1-2

Jesus used a quotation from the prophet Isaiah to answer a question raised by the disciples, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” Since the people who came to hear Jesus teach were exactly like those that Isaiah described, he accommodated his message to their ability (or inability) to see, hear, and comprehend. The Lord interpreted his audience through the lens of scripture.

Jesus is the Word of God, revealed in a human person (Jn. 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3). Nevertheless, he did not dismiss or disregard the word that had been revealed prior to his coming. He did not say, “Now that I am here you no longer need to concern yourselves with those ancient documents.” Rather, he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Mt. 5:17). He came as the Subject that was at the heart of all scripture, which, in turn, supported him in its witness to him (Jn. 5:39-40).

In doing the work that his Father had assigned to him, Jesus used the Scriptures to resist temptation (Mt. 4:4, 7, 10), defend his disciples (Mt. 9:12-13), correct false beliefs (Mt. 22:29-32), and define his place and role in the history of God’s salvation (Mt. 21:33-42).

How do we appear to Jesus? Maybe similar to Isaiah’s audience–looking but not seeing, listening but not hearing, observing but not understanding. Whether or not Isaiah’s words apply to us, we can be certain that we will our reflection somewhere in the mirror of scripture (Jas. 1:22-25).

Keep reading. Even when you do not understand, do not give up looking and listening. If the message that Jesus proclaims in his sermons is unclear to you, he will illustrate it for you in parables. As long as you remain open to all that he has to say, one way or another Jesus will find the best path to your heart and there he will plant the seed of truth.

Father, our request is that we could be like the disciples to whom it was “granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” and whose eyes were blessed to see and ears were blessed to hear. We pray that one day Jesus will be with us as with his disciples–willing to answer our questions and reveal to us his secrets. If there is anything in us that blocks the entrance of Your Word that gives light, please forgive us, heal us, and patiently guide us into truth.


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