(Red-letter portions of the New Testament)
Mark 4:11-12, “Jesus said, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ‘they may be ever seeing, but never perceiving, and ever hearing, but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.’”
Jesus spoke in parables, so that people would not understand and not be forgiven? Yes, that’s what He said.
Jesus explains that some people will never perceive. Some people will never understand. Oh, they understand, but they do not want to believe. So, they just shake their heads and walk away.
The problem was not their seeing or perceiving. The problem was that their hearts were not open. “None are so blind, as those who refuse to see.”
People hear God’s Word for years, but their hearts are not in it. They are distracted by the shiny objects in the room. Their hearts are on the things of this world.
So, they just blow off what God says or it goes in one ear and out the other. They will do what is necessary, religiously, to be social acceptable, but they are not “all in” with God.
Paul writes that “the God of this age has blinded them, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
They can’t see because they are blinded by the pride of life and all this life has to offer. They worship the created things, instead of the Creator. They do not want to perceive, because they have no interest in it. Blinded.
Doesn’t Jesus want the blinded to find forgiveness? Yes, but he is acknowledging that many will not seek it. In the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man, Jesus said, “they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.” Jesus did just that and still most people are not “all in” with Him.
Jesus said to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, but few do. Jesus said that he is coming back for those who long for His appearing, but few do. Jesus said we need to be watchful and ready, but few are.