Matthew 21-22~ Day 11~It starts with the heart.

Reading the parables of the 2 sons, the vineyard owner and the wedding banquet, it got me thinking about what Jesus told the Gentile woman who was begging for his healing touch, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt 15:24)
There are lessons, we Gentiles, can take away from these parables, but thinking about the original audience, I was saddened to see their hardened hearts toward parables that were clearly about them!

Jesus came to the house of Israel because they were the only ones on earth who were expecting the Messiah. Jesus had three years to get a whole people group, who had been waiting for the messiah since the days of King David (1000 years), to believe it was him!

Thinking about it, the use of parables was brilliant! Directly saying, "It's me!!", probably wouldn't attract the masses like the stories did.  These mysterious stories got the masses to come and listen and guess what they were about.  Curiosity has a way of drawing the masses, don't you think?
But, it doesn't take long to figure out exactly what Jesus is saying, and it doesn't take deep, profound spiritual insight to figure out the parables.  Indeed, the chief priests and the Pharisees knew exactly what Jesus was saying through the parables. (21:45)

Parables and the interpretation of them, expose the heart condition of the person hearing them.  All can understand, but some hearts can harden, not wanting to understand.  That idea makes Matthew 13:15 understandable, "For this people's heart has grown callous; their ears are hard of hearing and they have shut their eyes; otherwise they might see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn back- and I would heal them."

There is a take away I got from hearing about those heard hearts listening to Jesus.  When wanting to share the gospel with friends, family and anyone else for that matter, I don't need to pray that I share the good news in a brilliant, intellectual way so that they can have full understanding.  Rather, I need to pray for the hearer to have a soft heart; a heart that is ready and willing to hear.  I need to pray that their heart does not grow callous so that they can hear and see truth!  To be honest, that takes a lot of pressure off of me!  It's not how or what I say, it's the condition of their heart/ears. Whew! My job is  just to say something!! (Rom. 10:14)


Christine R said…
Yesssssss... We do tend to put such pressure on ourselves to be excellent conveyors of the message of Jesus, when the Lord never asks us to do that... But instead to just share and like you said, pray that their hearts will soften so they can hear. What a good reminder you gave us!
I needed the reminder myself!! haha

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