“so that ‘seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.'” Mark 4:12
Jesus offers all people the gift of His forgiving love. What makes mankind reject God’s salvation? Many answers could be offered, but they would all boil down to this: men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19). The Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). In order for people to accept God they must first admit they are sinners condemned before the righteous Judge. It is hard for many to reconcile that the righteous Judge is also the God of love. Human nature tends to gravitate toward excuses—If God loves me He will make me good . . . If He loves me He certainly won’t condemn me.
This is what Jesus was saying to His listeners. Those who rejected His truth were more than satisfied to take the food He offered when He fed the five thousand, but they did not want to feed on His Word. They wanted to be recipients of His miracle-working power, but they did not want to suffer for His name’s sake. They wanted to enjoy the riches of eternal life, but they did not want to lay down their sinful lives in exchange for sacrificial and holy lives.
Jesus used parables to draw the true believers out of the crowd. Those who didn’t care to understand simply turned away. Those who sought for truth begged, “Tell us more!” They saw, but did not perceive. They heard, but did not understand. If they would only choose to identify with Him and turn from their sins, they would be forgiven, but their willing sinfulness bound them to the world’s empty lie. These represent the soil of unrepentant hearts in which the seed of the Gospel cannot take root.
Are you praying for Jesus to cultivate the soil of unrepentant hearts so that the seed of the Gospel with take root and flourish?
from “The Sower: Follow in His Steps” by Franklin Graham