Matthew 13:10-17

Jesus explains to his disciples why he teaches with stories

10 Then Jesus' disciples came to him. They asked him, ‘Why do you use stories to speak to the crowd?’

11 Jesus replied, ‘God has let you know what these stories mean. You understand how God rules in the lives of his people. But these other people do not understand what the stories mean. 12 A person who has received some things will receive even more. He will have lots of good things. Some other people have nothing. Those people will lose even the little bit that they do have. 13 The reason I use stories to talk to other people is this:

These people look. But they do not really see clearly.

They hear the words. But they do not really understand.

13:13Jesus is telling his disciples about how to listen to him. They must listen well to what he says. Then they will understand him. They must believe in the message from God. Then they will understand more and more. Some people think that they know all about God. These people do not listen well to him. So they do not understand what he says. God will take away from them what they think that they know.

14 Long ago, the prophet Isaiah spoke a message from God about those people. Now it has become true. God said:

13:14See Isaiah 6:9.

“You will listen and listen. But you will not understand.

You will look and look. But you will not see anything.

15 These people do not really want to understand.

They are like people who have shut their ears.

They are like people who have shut their eyes.

If they did want to look, then they would really see.

If they did want to listen, then they would really hear.

They would understand my message.

They would turn back to obey me.

Then I would forgive them and I would make them well.” ’

16 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘But as for you, be happy because God has helped you to see. He has helped you to hear and understand his message. 17 I tell you this: Many prophets and good people from a long time ago wanted to see these things. But they did not see the things that you are seeing. They wanted to hear the message that you are hearing. But they did not hear it.’