Matthew 13:15 “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.”
“This people’s heart has become calloused.” Has become implies that their hearts were not always calloused. Once they had soft, pliable hearts. Ears that were eager to listen to what God had to say. Eyes that were open to see what God was doing all around them. But something happened.
Maybe God just took too long to fulfill His promises to them. It had been such a long time since God had promised that He would redeem His people. They started to believe that God had forgotten about them, forgotten His promises. Over the years, their hearts just grew harder and harder, their ears less sensitive to His voice, their eyes a little duller to what God was up to. Have you been waiting for an answer to prayer for a long time? Have you begun to give up on God? Are you beginning to think He’s not as faithful as you once thought that He was?
Or perhaps the people had been offended by other believers. Their feeling had been hurt by the leaders whom they looked up to and now they weren’t going to have anything to do with God. It just hurt too bad. It was better to close off their heart and stop up their ears and shut their eyes. Then they didn’t have to face their hurts. Have you been hurt by the church? Did someone turn you off from following after God? Do you blame God for what happened?
Or could it be that the sinful world around these people was the constant force that caused their hard hearts? Day after day. A little compromise here, a little slip there. Everyone else is doing it. It can’t be that bad. Each time they give in, their hearts growing a little less attentive to God. As they open themselves up to the world, they close themselves off from God. Have you grown accustomed to the sin around you? Has it become acceptable to give in now and then? You know, you deserve it. Each day a little farther from where you once were.
The answer, thank God, is so very clear in this verse. All we have to do is turn in order to be healed. We don’t have to make everything perfect. We don’t have to get back to where we were before. All we have to do is turn. Jesus does all the rest!