Scripture Reading: Isaiah 6
The Bible to observers:
A 3-D shape—animal awareness. Smell, texture, maybe flippy things inside
Marks on paper—awareness of a toddler, probably rips the pages
Letters arranged according to rules—youth learning to read
An expression of meaning—reflecting on and applying the wisdom found in the arranged letters.
Matthew 13:13-17-- Faith comes by hearing. It is possible to hear without hearing
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.16 But blessed are your [disciples’] eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
! They’ve resisted so much revelation; He refuses to give them more! Parables hide truth. Understand—to put together, to comprehend, be wise. Perceive—notice, discern, discover. True followers see, hear, understand and perceive and are thus blessed. Disciples are blessed above the blind, but also above righteous men born out of time.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.
First they would not believe, after their blinding they could not believe. Conversion happens through seeing, hearing, and understanding.
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Slumber—stupor, lethargy, the tingling of a limb falling asleep. A sharp blow or wound and the bewilderment that comes from it. Getting knocked out!
--The issue is not whether your external eyes can read external words on an external page in an external book or your external ear can hear external voices. The issue is whether you understand with your heart.
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.20 But ye have not so learned [the] Christ;21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
Vanity of mind—wasting intellectual powers on frivolous things. Blindness—hardness, thickening of the skin, callousness to feeling. Not judicial hardening, but a chosen hardening. Romans 1—changing truth of God into lie, left believing vain lies but feeling wise about it. Lasciviousness—reckless indulgence. Learned Christ—knowing Christ is the whole point, and sin has no place in knowing Christ.
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth and their words unto the ends of the world.
Report—literally—out thing to be heard same Greek word as “hearing”.
Obeyed—hoop-akoo-oh. Under hear. Submit to the commands of another. The problem is not that they haven’t heard the message; the problem is that they rejected it.
--The Church today is much like Israel—we’ve heard it, the question is whether we’ve truly believed what we’ve heard!