Matthew 13:10-17 NRSVue
10Then the disciples came and asked him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11He answered, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For to those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 13The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ 14With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah that says:
‘You will indeed listen but never understand, and you will indeed look but never perceive.
15For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might not look with their eyes, and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn— and I would heal them.’
16“But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. 17Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
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Some thoughts on this scripture
The events of Jesus' ministry seem to go over the heads of some of their bystanders. They do not believe. His words seem to pass them by. So he will tell them stories and hope they will see behind the words to the meaning of those stories. Parables will highlight some of the truths of life and of God, and people who may miss the obvious will get the message. Every story Jesus tells will throw some light on God, the world and the self. These questions can be a good starting point to praying the parables.
Jesus speaks in parables so that his meaning may take root in the soil of my life: only I can, in my prayer, receive the word of God that is addressed to me. I quiet the voices of my habits and of usual interpretations, listening for the whisper that speaks to my heart.
Even though he offers life in abundance, Jesus accepts that there are those who will learn nothing. I do not have to be anxious about them, but pray with compassion for all who have not found the source of life.
Jesus offers me more, strengthening me faith, building me up in love, nurturing my hope.