In chapter 4, Jesus was by a lake and he was teaching a large crowd, and He was using parables.
At the end of the parable of the farmer sowing seed, He said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Then, when they were away from the crowd, his disciples asked about the parables. And he told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that, “ ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ”
Wait. What? Is Jesus saying that there are some that He doesn’t want to be forgiven?
Well, first we have to ask, “Does that idea agree with what we know about His mission?” And the answer is a resounding “NO!” Scripture after scripture could be quoted contradicting the idea, but let’s go with one of the most well-known: John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
So if that is true, and we know that it is, what did Jesus mean? What was He talking about?
Ok. Remember that He taught by parables when He was speaking to large crowds. Those crowds were made up of every type of person, not just those who truly wanted to hear Jesus’ teaching the truth. Some were there to get free food. Some were there for healing of their bodies. Some (the religious leaders) were there to find out how they could trap Him and thus prove He was teaching blasphemy, so that they could then kill Him.
That’s why at the end He said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” In other words, “If you really want to know the truth, if your heart is open to God, then you will hear. But if your heart is hard, if you refuse to hear, then you will not.”
And when Jesus was speaking to the smaller group of disciples and said, “they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ “, He was quoting Isaiah 6:9-10, and again referring to those who refuse to hear God.
Of course God wants all to be saved, but each must come to Him of their own free will. If they will not, then they will not. And their ears will not hear because their heart is hard.
I want my heart to be open to His every word. I don’t want a heart of stone. I want my ears to hear and my eyes to see.
How about you?