Matthew 13:9-17 Be Careful How You Listen

by | Nov 7, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

See also 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, 2:1-16

I. Why Jesus Spoke In Parables

A. A General Truth Regarding God’s Revelation Of Truth

1. God desires to reveal Himself to mankind

a. Verse 9– He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
b. Jesus is inviting his listeners to pay attention and consider His words
c. Hear- consider, understand, perceive, to find out, to learn, to comprehend

2. Part of why Jesus came was to reveal the Father.
John 14:9 Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father…”

3. Only God reveals the truths of the kingdom of heaven, and only to some
See Matthew 11:25-27
4. God desires all people to be saved
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is…not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
5. See also Matthew 18:10-14
6. Regarding revelation about the kingdom of heaven, we see three truths:

a. God desires all men to be saved, but salvation hinges upon revelation
b. The truths of God are not revealed to all people
c. Jesus invites people to listen, pay attention, and consider His words

7. The disciples wondered why Jesus chose to speak to the masses through parables

B. Parables Illuminate Truth To True Seekers

1. Parables are earthly stories that illustrate heavenly truths

a. They usually have one main point that is illustrated
b. It can be misleading to try to explain every aspect of a parable

2. Parables are designed to get people to think
3. Those who desired the truth would listen, and then consider the truth described
4. Parables are an aid to true seekers of God
5. Parables excite a healthy curiosity in true seekers of God

C. Parables Reveal That Some Are Not True Seekers

1. The peoples’ hearts had grown dull
2. The parables had the capacity to excite curiosity for those who wanted the truth
3. Parables also reveal that some have only a carnal curiosity, but are not sincere
4. They hear the same truths, but are not interested enough to press into the truth
5. Parables revealed truth to true seekers, & hid truth from the insincere & hostile
6. God will not force anyone to accept His words, but He will present His message
7. Jesus’ enemies wouldn’t understand the parables, and would be slowed in their hostility against Him

II. Insincere Seekers

A. Not Given The Gift Of Understanding/Knowing

1. Verse 11- “…but to them it has not been given…”
2. Given- to bestow a gift, to supply, to furnish, to endue, to grant or permit
3. “Know”- ginosko-to know by experience

B. How They Could Have Received This Gift

1. Verse 9-They could have been careful to hear
2. Verse 15a- Their hearts had grown dull- it was a process
3. Verse 15a- Their ears have become hard of hearing
4. Verse 15a- Their eyes they have closed (as in sealed shut with wax)
5. Their hearts were hard, shallow, crowded. (Verses 18-22)

C. Their Resultant Condition

1. Verse 15b– They were spiritual blind, deaf, and insensitive
2. Verse 15b– They were unconverted
3. Verse 15b– They were not healed- to cure, heal, make whole, bring salvation
4. Verse 15b– They were not turned (converted KVJ) to God, but stayed away

a. Turn- to turn to the worship of the true God, to cause to return, to bring back, to the love and obedience of God, to love wisdom and righteousness, to turn to one’s self, to turn one’s self about,

5. Verse 14- These people were completely unable to receive truth from God

a. Jesus quotes from Isaiah 6
b. The people were religious, but spiritually dead
c. What a tragedy to physically hear eternal truths, and not be able to comprehend those truths
d. What a tragedy to miss out on what God wants to do in a person’s life

6. Verse 13b-Inability to understand- to set or join together in the mind

a. Inability to spiritually “connect the dots”
b. Inability to rightly process, assemble, analyze, consider spiritual truths

7. Verse 12b- Whatever spiritual truth they did have, would be lost

III. Sincere Seekers

A. Given The Gift Of Understanding/Knowing

1. Verse 11- “…it has been given to you to know…”
2. Given- to bestow a gift, to supply, to furnish, to endue, to grant or permit
3. “Know”-ginosko-to know by experience

B. How They Were Able To Receive This Gift

1. Verse 9- They were careful how they heard
2. Verse 15- Their hearts hadn’t grown dull to God
3. Verse 15- Their ears were still open to God
4. Verse 15- Their eyes were open to the things of God
5. Their hearts were not hard, shallow, or crowded, but open & fertile (Vs. 18-22)

C. Their Resultant Condition

1. The spiritual truths they had would lead to more understanding

a. Remember the source of those truths- the words of Jesus

2. They desire for God would lead to closer fellowship with God
3. Their spiritual lives would develop exponentially. (Verse 23)
4. They were able to see/understand/perceive things that even O.T. prophets could not understand. (Time wasn’t right for them, etc.) (Progressive revelation)
5. Turn to 1 Peter 1:10-12

IV. Final Thoughts

1. Is it always dependent upon the hearer’s heart as to whether they will receive Jesus? Yes
2. Does God love everyone, and want them to be saved? Yes
3. Does God sometimes aggressively go after hard hearted people? Yes
4. What can man do to receive the truths re. Jesus? Have a soft heart, and ears to hear
Only as You See Him
At the Grand Canyon, a guide took a group of tourists to the southern rim. Among the sightseers were an artist, a minister, and a cowboy. After they had beheld the spectacle for a few minutes, the guide asked the artist, “Could you paint a picture like that?” “Never!” the artist replied. “Only God could make that scene.” The guide then turned to the minister. “Could you describe such grandeur in a sermon, Pastor?” The minister shook his head. “No, sir. Such majesty defies mortal description.” Finally he turned to the cowboy. “And what do you think about this Grand Canyon, partner?” The cowboy answered in wonderment, “I was just thinking—what an awful place to lose a cow!” The unsaved look at Christ and see a good teacher, a moral man but not the Son of God.