Yeshua spoke in parable so that even though they heard them, they could not understand. Can you tell me why?
In Matthew 13:10-17, placed between the parable of the sower and its explanation, there is a section of great importance in which we see the disciples asking Jesus why He taught in parables.
This is an excellent question indeed. Why did the Lord Jesus teach in parables rather than using plain statements? We will realize Jesus’ answer to that question further on but first let’s take a look at this passage.
Mat 13:10. And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
11 He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
12 "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 "And in them the prophecy of Isaiah 6 is fulfilled, which says:
'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 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.'
16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 "for assuredly, 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.
The effect of the truth of God
Let’s put Isaiah 6 in its context. Isaiah, this great prophet of God, had a vision of God’s majesty, holiness and glory. He responded to this vision with great humility, saying, Woe is me … a man of unclean lips (Isaiah 6:5). It was after this incident that God appointed Isaiah to preach to the inhabitants of Judah.
The Lord said to him, ‘Go, and speak to these people. Make their heart fat (slow of spiritual understanding). Close their eyes (their understanding spiritually). Make their ears heavy so that they do not hear the voice and truth of Yahweh.
Why did God say that? When you go back and read the first five chapters of Isaiah, you understand why.
Because the people of Judah had already shut their eyes. They have already hardened their hearts.
Most members of the nation had become insensitive to their need of cleansing from sin. Isaiah was told to take God’s message to an obstinate and rebellious nation that is facing judgment and exile for refusing to respond properly to God.
Now, put yourself in the shoes of Isaiah. Let’s suppose that God gave you that command. ‘Go and make the heart of these people dull. Shut their eyes. Close their ears.’ What would you do? How are you going to obey God’s instruction? Is it really possible to blind people’s eyes?
Look at Isaiah’s response in Isaiah 6:11.
Lord, how long? Three little words. Lord, how long?
Isaiah wondered how long he would have to go on delivering a message of judgment to which the people would be callous. His question implies that he was going to preach to the nation and that he was ready to speak whatever God wanted him to say. So how do you shut people’s ears and blind their eyes?
It’s quite simple. Isaiah went and proclaimed the truth.
That’s all that he needed to do.
You see, the truth will do one of these two things in every person’s life. The truth will either open your eyes or it will blind your eyes. The truth of God will either open your ears or it will shut your ears. The truth of God will either make you alive or it will kill you.
When the word of God is preached, some are going to shut their ears and some are going to open their hearts. Some people are going to live and some people are going to die.
When Isaiah preached to the stiff-necked and rebellious people of Judah, he didn't have to do anything special to shut their eyes. He just had to preach the truth and they resisted it.
The people had not listened before and they would not listen to Isaiah now. In fact, on hearing Isaiah’s message, the people would become even more hardened against the Lord.
Once we understand this, we understand by what means God can blind the people. You just speak the truth. That’s all that you have to do.
The expression ‘Go, make the heart of this people fat, and shut their ears’ does not refer to a direct act of God in blinding the mind. Isaiah was to go and proclaim the truth and the result will be, because of the hardness of their heart that their eyes will be blinded and their hearts hardened.
The effect of the truth on such people will be to irritate and harden their minds. As time progresses, their minds will become more and more impenetrable, gradually making belief impossible.
It is in that sense that God’s commanding Isaiah to preach the message was the same in effect as if He had commanded the prophet to blind their eyes and harden their hearts. It is the same today and many have a Reprobate mind as a result of turning away from Yahweh and His voice.
Isaiah 6:9-10 describes Israel’s failure to respond to the prophet’s message. Jesus regarded Himself as parallel to the rejection of Isaiah and his message.
He says in Matthew 13:14, In them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive."
In quoting this passage, Jesus wanted to explain that Israel in His day could not believe because they would not believe.
Luke 17:5-10 - Faith
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
Jesus is concerned not about faith's volume but about its presence. God can work with even a little faith.
Parable of the Mustard seed. He was not talking about the size of the mustard seed? He was talking about the potency in a mustard seed. A mustard seed will grow into a very large plant.
Imagine taking a teaspoon of mustard and placing it directly on your tongue. It would be like fire. A mustard seed that has not been diluted with other ingredients is 100 times more potent than that teaspoon of mustard.
This is what Yeshua was talking about. The potency of a small amount of faith.
If you have faith the size (the potency) of a grain of mustard seed then you can move mountains.
He is saying we need to have powerful faith not volume amounts of faith. Our faith needs to have potency. It needs to be real. We need faith like fire!!!
So Jesus says, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." The mustard seed was among the smallest seeds in Palestine, while the sycamine tree, probably a black mulberry tree, lived up to six hundred years.
The Sycamine tree required a vast root network to draw up the ground's nutrients. Jesus is arguing that a little faith can do surprising things, especially if done through a spoken word it can pull up a tree with a huge root system and hurl it into the sea.
Of course, the remark is a rhetorical picture of faith's power.
It is like Jesus' remark about a camel's ability to go through the eye of a needle. It makes the point hyperbolically (exaggerated statement, not meant to be taken literally):
Stop worrying about how great your faith is or the lack of it; only apply what you have and watch it work.
The only reason a person would ask for more faith is because they are not operating with the small faith they have and believe they need to have volumes of it to be spiritually successful in this world.
What a disgusting thought this must have been to Yashua.
This is why is said oh ye of little faith.
Matthew 8:26, and he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Matthew 14:31, and immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt.
Matthew 16:8, which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread?
Faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8),” If it is a gift then it need no merit and must be received as such. A gift.
Again I say faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).”
The word of God is Yashua Hamaschia. Jesus Christ!!!