Too Dull to Understand?

 


“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
Eyes to see not and ears to hear not,
Down to this very day.”
Romans 11:8 NASB


After Jesus told the parable of the sower and the seed, his disciples asked him why he frequently spoke to the crowds in parables. In his reply, Jesus quoted a passage from Isaiah (6:9-10).

Matthew 13:10-17 (NASB) 
 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" 
 Jesus answered them, "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, 
'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;  
 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD 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. 
That is not the only time this passage from Isaiah is referenced in the Greek Text (New Testament). It is also covered in Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26, 27; Rom 10:16; 11:8


To me, the fact that Jesus quoted that passage, clarifies the underlying meaning of his statement, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14). Add to that his statement as recorded in Matthew 7:21-23, and it becomes quite clear that one must be much more than a nominal ( in name only; theoretical) Christian.

The Christian life is much more than a simple profession of faith. It is a life-transforming belief in the Creator of all things seen and unseen.

Colossians 1:9-23 (NASB)
 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
 For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach—if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister. 

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