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Jesus was quoting Isaiah 6:9-10 in the passage cited, where God was speaking through the prophet to the people of Judah in that day. He was not stating an intent, but describing a fact. The Septuagint translation of the Old Testament makes this clearer by saying, "You will be ever hearing, but never understanding; / you will be ever seeing, but never perceiving.’ / This people’s heart has become calloused; / they hardly hear with their ears, / and they have closed their eyes." For those to whom Jesus' parables were not clear, it was not because of an intent by Jesus to obscure His meaning. It was because of their own deliberate unwillingness to recognize or acknowledge the realities underlying the parables -- specifically to see their own sinfulness and their estrangement from God resulting from their own actions, and to turn to Him in confession and repentance, so that they might be forgiven. This was further compounded in Jesus' time by the refusal of His opponents to recognize Him as the Messiah whom God had sent to make that forgiveness possible.
The apostle Peter said “ The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). God said through Jeremiah “ This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:10-14) And again through Jeremiah “ For they have not listened to my words,” declares the Lord, “words that I sent to them again and again by my servants the prophets. And you exiles have not listened either,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:19) Jesus said “ 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14) God calls every human being to receive his salvation, by revealing himself in word and deed. Many people are so captivated by sin they refuse to respond to God’s call. God knows every human heart. He knows those who will respond to his call, who are seeking him with their whole heart. The perfect example is what happened when Jesus called his 12 disciples, they didn’t hesitate or question him, they immediately followed. We don’t know who will respond to God’s call, but we are commanded to share the gospel anyway. The apostle Paul sums up this issue well for us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified (Romans 8:28-30).
Jesus and His words are to be sought after. He wants to be pursued as do we. He said to seek, ask and knock then we would find, receive and it would be opened. Let's not just receive this gift of abundant eternal life but desire to dwell in Him. In doing He promised we would be one with each other, with Him and the Father forever! I love eternity begins now! Let's be love!
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