Matthew 13:10-17 Reasons For Jesus To Be Obscure

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because 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 they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;     though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;     you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 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.’[a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly 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.

Reasons For Jesus To Be Obscure

Jesus, you divide people according to what they know.  People know according to the effort that they put in.  Most people write you off these days as a well-meaning Jewish hero on a par with MLK or Gandhi.  They reinvent MLK by taking his “I have a dream” and justifying their own dreams rather than having his dream for racial equality.  Gandhi is reviled as a man of peace in the West, but he is little understood. People create a Jesus that they like.  They don’t seek you and find out who you are.  Becoming a Christian doesn’t necessarily mean entering into a relationship with you to most ‘born again’ Christians.  It means making a decision that you don’t want to go to hell and that heaven would be a nice destination.  People have a more profound relationship with their T.V. or computer than they have with you.

Help us not to get lost in shallowness.  Help us to not crowd you out with business.  Help us to ask questions, dig deeper, and find you.


  1. What did the disciples ask Jesus?
  2. What did he reply?
  3. How was Jesus’ hiding of himself in line with Old Testament wisdom writing?
  4. If Jesus is hiding himself, are you seeking him out daily?
  5. If Jesus hides himself what does that have to say for ‘one-and-done’, pragmatic Christians?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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