What Jesus Did! 'Wanting to Hear' — Matthew 13:10-15

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The followers came to Jesus and asked, "Why do you use these stories to teach the people?" Jesus answered, "Only you can know the secret truths about the kingdom of heaven. Those other people cannot know these secret truths. The person that has {some understanding} will be given more. And he will have even more than he needs. But the person that does not have {much understanding} will lose even the little {understanding} that he has. This is why I use these stories to teach the people: The people see, but they don't really see. The people hear, but they don't really understand. So these people show that the things Isaiah said about them are true: 'You people will listen and you will hear, but you will not understand. You people will look and you will see, but you will not understand what you see. Yes, the minds of these people (the Jews) are now closed. They have ears, but they don't listen. And they refuse to see {the truth}. If their minds were not closed, they might see with their eyes; they might hear with their ears; they might understand with their minds. Then they might turn back to me and be healed.'"
— Matthew 13:10-15 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 13:10-15 NLT — "Why do you use these stories to teach the people?"

Key Thought

As Jesus' ministry has progressed, hostility and rejection has risen. The crowds who came for miracles are also now full of skeptics, critics, and enemies. This group will hear his words, but then refuse to really listen to the message. They see great acts of power, but refuse to believe that Jesus is from God. The time has come for Jesus to invest and equip his followers for what lies ahead. Jesus will continue to minister to the crowd, but he will no longer try to teach them because they refuse to truly listen. His message in stories, parables as they are sometimes called, allows him to conceal the power and radical claims of his Kingdom from those who will not believe and do not seek the truth. At same the time, his stories reveal the powerful message of God's Kingdom to the hearts of those seeking truth and following Jesus. The point for us is that our ability to hear and believe is based more upon our hearts than our hearing! It has to do more with what we're seeking than in the flair of what is being said. Jesus' words are a great reminder of how important words are, especially his words.

Today's Prayer

O God my Father, give me a heart that longs and seeks after you and your truth. Don't let Satan harden my heart to your truth. Forgive me of personal sins, which I openly and fully confess, and liberate and protect me from Satan's power to use them to destroy and debilitate. Father, help me hear with my heart and not just my ears. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 1:21-23
  • Matthew 11:25-27
  • 1 Corinthians 2:11-14

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.