Cheddington Midweek Communion
Gospel Matthew 13.16-17
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to N.
All Glory to you, O Lord.
Jesus said, “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All Praise to you, O Christ.
Another short gospel reading Unlike last week, cannot be taken out of context. Part of parable of sower. One of only two parables with explanation – most have many, according to listener.
Before Jesus explained parable disciples asked “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” Good question. Why not be clear? Why not make meaning plain. Improve communication. Even Sower explained only to select few.
Jesus replied “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables”
Secrets of the Kingdom Does that mean message of salvation deliberately withheld from some and not others? No, it means the gospel cannot be studied and understood academically. Not like reading a text book and understanding. The Word himself has to be accepted. You have to engage with Jesus – and live out the Christian life. Only that way will the message be received and understood in abundance. Others can only try to partially understand, but what little understanding they have will be lost to them.
It’s not that Jesus wants it to be this way – he quotes the prophecy of Isaiah:
You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
Why is this? – because people’s eyes and ears are closed – their hearts have become calloused – so they hear with their ears and see with their eyes but their hearts and minds are unaffected by what they hear.
But blessed are your eyes, ears and hearts – says Christ. Because many clever people heard but did not hear – saw but did not see – but your eyes are blest because they have seen and your ears are blest because they hear. And the result is that they, and we, receive healing. Amen