Why do we choose to look at one thing in preference to another? The ‘eyesight’ of the mind (Ephesians 1:18) means we think about certain things more than others. There is an interesting example of thinking processes in the way Jesus responded to “those around him with the twelve” (Mark 4:10). They ask him about the parables and Jesus tells them, “to you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God” (verse 11). Is it really a secret? After all, there are many references to the kingdom in the Old Testament. The nation, however, thought that the Messiah would be a conquering king, known throughout the land. They did not realise you have to commit to him before there can be any conquering.
God’s way is to attract those who are prepared to think, ‘to use their brains’ as some would put it today. Jesus says he is speaking in parables “so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven” (verse 12). They had seen how different he was to any other teacher; “they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority and not as the scribes” (Mark 1:22). But being “astonished” is only a start!
Today we do not hear his teaching or see his miracles, but there is plenty of evidence. We know more than ever of the miracle of creation, for example, but many minds are locked into thinking it all happened by pure chance! And, most important of all, we have this remarkable book that God caused to be written and preserved, but we need to read and understand. Some start to understand, but, as the parable says, “the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires of other things enter and choke the word” (verse 19) demonstrating the truth of his saying “they may indeed see but not perceive”.
God is not calling the half hearted but the fully committed with good eyesight.