Matthew 13:15. “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts , and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
I looked at this verse in several different translations. The words used for waxed gross include, dull, calloused, hardened, and impervious. The Greek word is pachuno, which is to make fat, stupid, insensible, inattentive, dull, and callous.
The idea here is that the people slowly but inexorably became this way, little by little, until they were past normal, vigourous obedience to truth and righteousness. They were not seeing, hearing or understanding with the heart; therefore, they could not be converted and Jesus could not heal them.
Wow. Think of that.
The illustration I found for this post is common throughout America. We are bored in church; we are inattentive, we sleep, we slouch, we look at our watches, we read the bulletin many times; and these days, I’m even seeing people with electronic devices that have a lot more on them than just a download of the Bible!
Is it the preacher’s fault? Well, maybe, sometimes. But not always, and not even usually. The Word of God itself speaks to the heart that has not grown callouses; it penetrates even the layers of fat that surround our hearts, and wakes us up with the convicting power that it wields.
I can’t think of a much more effective weapon that Satan has used to stifle Christianity in our country than the boring offering of religious platitudes that flows across pulpits all over this land. Contrary to some, I do not believe that the answer is in livelier music or more engaging programs. Those things tend to follow fads, and fads always pass.
No, what we need is a return to the heartfelt, knowledgeable, convicting exposition of God’s Word! Only the Word can penetrate our hard hearts. It is the sword of truth that pricks our hearts and brings us back to God.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.