Have you ever met someone who didn’t want to hear what you had to say? For one reason or another, they’ve made up their mind that, no matter what you say, they will go their own way. Conversely, have you ever met someone who agreed with whatever you said even if they didn’t actually agree? A “yes” man, so to speak. What about those people who are easily distracted, and while you’re talking to them, there always seems to be something else on their mind?

When Jesus taught, he taught in parables, and when asked why he taught in parables, this was his reply.

So that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!'”

Mark 4:12 (NIV)

Jesus’ response paraphrased what was said in the book of Isaiah.

He said, “Go and tell this people: “‘Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”

Isaiah 6:9-10 (NIV)

Like many of Jesus’ responses, the response might be as confusing as the original issue. Doesn’t it seem like Jesus says he doesn’t want people to be forgiven? Let’s delve into Jesus’ response while considering Isaiah 6:9-10 since that’s what Jesus had in mind.

Jesus’ answer might seem counter to salvation. However, let’s consider salvation. He could not have been glorified if everyone who heard the Lord believed what he said. His death was a requirement for salvation. Jesus’ death was critical to the new covenant and canceled the debt of sin so Satan could no longer have a claim on us.

In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Hebrews 9:22 (NIV)

Another thing to consider is Pharaoh. Remember how the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart. If there was nothing there to harden, to begin with, it couldn’t have been hardened further. Pharaoh already had it in his mind and heart that the Jewish people weren’t people but slaves and property to be used as he saw fit. His predisposition is what was hardened.

These people who Jesus was talking about already had a predisposition to not believe him. So that’s what we see here regarding teaching in parables; God allowing people to make their own choice. We see this in Isaiah 6:9 “make the heart of this people calloused.” When people work with their hands, they get calloused over time. The same goes for feet. Before I started martial arts training, the bottoms of my feet were relatively soft. Yet even now, many years later, the calluses remain.

Another reason I see why Jesus taught in parables is because they get people to think. If someone has a predisposition to not agree with you and you speak plainly to them, they’ve already decided in their heart that they will not agree with you before you even said what you said. However, if you say something that makes them think, then they pay attention to what you’ve said. This attention might just change their hearts. This type of teaching is also more interesting, which gives those people who are more easily distracted something to hold their attention.

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.