Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Christ here touches upon a common fact of our human nature — spiritual insensibility — that state in which spiritual things pass before a man; and instead of being beautiful and blessed realities, they are meaningless to him. There is nothing strange or fanciful in this representation. We understand how a man may be face to face with anything, and yet not perceive it, through the appropriate faculty in him being beclouded or dormant. Men are coming into contact with nature, art, charity, and yet are insensible to them. Not that God decrees arbitrarily that a certain few shall be blessed with the power of vision and receptivity, and others deprived of it. It is not imposed upon men, but is the result of certain lines of conduct.
I. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STEPS BY WHICH THIS GROSS INSENSITIVE STATE IS REACHED.
1. It is induced by all kinds of depravity. It is one of the penalties of wrong-doing that the moral nature is made unresponsive to spiritual things.
2. It grows on a man through the mastery of worldly pursuits — of business, home, social, and political life.
3. The habit of cherishing doubt is another circumstance which tends to weaken spiritual vision and understanding. Caution must not degenerate into procrastination.
II. FORMAL ENDORSEMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN VERITIES IS ONE THING, LIVING REALIZATION OF THEM IS ANOTHER.
III. HE WHO OPENED THE UNDERSTANDING OF HIS DISCIPLES IS WITH US NOW TO DO THE SAME FOR US. "Lord, that I might receive my sight."
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.