Kingdom Insight

The disciples came up and asked [Jesus], "Why do you tell stories?"

He replied, "You've been given insight into God's kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn't been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That's why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they're blue in the face and not get it. I don't want Isaiah's forecast repeated all over again:

   Your ears are open but you don't hear a thing.
      Your eyes are awake but you don't see a thing.
   The people are blockheads!
   They stick their fingers in their ears
      so they won't have to listen;
   They screw their eyes shut
      so they won't have to look,
      so they won't have to deal with me face-to-face
      and let me heal them.

  But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:11-17, MESSAGE