This is why I speak to them in parables: 'Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.'
soil. The point of it is not so much what the sower did, as what the soil did, and what the soil was. In each case good seed was scattered. In each case we are set thinking of the capacity of the soil, and of the manner in which it dealt with the seed. And this fact comes out forcibly to view: only when the soil was deep and soft and clean - well ploughed, well harrowed, well weeded - could even that good seed yield its thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.
I. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR LOUD AS A TEACHER. Compare him with the rabbinical moralists of his time. It is sometimes inconsiderately said that our Lord's moral teachings were not new. Of course they were not. How could they be? What new moral principles and duties can any teacher announce? New morals could not be true morals, for morals are the possession of humanity from man's earliest relations with God and with his fellows. You will find in our Lord's teachings some things new, some things old, and some things skilfully adapted to the needs of the day. Stalker says the teaching of Jesus consisted of numerous sayings, every one of which contained the greatest possible amount of truth in the smallest possible compass, and was expressed in language so concise and pointed as to stick in the memory like an arrow." But observe that even Christ's Divine teachings were a partial failure, when men were not "prepared to hear."
II. THE RESPONSE MEN MADE TO OUR LORD'S TEACHINGS. It surprises us that all men did not receive him. But the fact is that our Lord shared the common experience of all teachers, and proved a direct blessing to only a few. Some of the people took offence at Christ's teaching. He did not say what they had been accustomed to hear just as they had been accustomed to hear it. He did not come forth with the proper approval of the ecclesiastical officials. He often spoke too plainly. He came right home to them. He made them see sins which they had tried hard to cover over and hide. He read their hearts, and made them feel uncomfortable. Some found him too advanced a Teacher for them. Some were impulsive, and became disciples at once, but could stand no testing and strain. The moral and spiritual results of our Lord's ministry depended on the moods of the people. The common people heard him gladly. The learned people questioned and criticized, and so gained no blessing. Jesus was to men as men were to him. All depended on the soil. - R.T.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see.I. To WHOM THESE WORDS WERE ADDRESSED.
1. They were not addressed indiscriminately to the people.
2. They were addressed to His chosen disciples.
3. The same distinction must be observed when these words are applied to ourselves.
II. THE SPIRITUAL IMPORT OF THESE WORDS WHEN THUS APPLIED.
1. What the faithful disciples saw — "the Lord's Christ."
2. How it was the disciples saw those things in Him.
3. Unspeakably blessed are they who thus see. Are you in possession of these privileges? what do you know of them?
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