Verse: Matthew 13:13-15
This is why I speak to them in parables:

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

In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

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

Do you remember when you were a kid playing with Play-Doh? I loved that stuff. Can you remember, though, the disappointment of getting it and being pumped to play with it, only to open it and find out it was crusty and hard? There was nothing you could do with it. If you tried to change the shape, it would just break and crumble. It wasn’t pliable in your hands. It wasn’t really good for anything!

That is what these verses remind me of. Only Jesus is talking about our hearts. He is telling his disciples that he speaks in parables, in part, to reveal those with soft hearts (people who will be open to understanding his parables) and those with hard hearts (those who refuse to change their thinking).

The words that keep coming to mind as I read this are “teachable” and “humble.” I know that I am in danger of having a calloused heart. It is easy to become set in my ways, or become prideful, or even think I know best. And it is not easy to hear correction, to feel convicted, or to admit I need to change (that would mean I am wrong about something!). But that’s really the difference isn’t it?

This passage is a great reminder to keep our hearts soft. To stay humble. To stay teachable. To be someone who can be corrected. Who is open to changing. I want my heart to be like Play Doh in the hands of Jesus. I want him to be able to shape me and mold me as he sees fit.  I pray for that softness of heart for me, and for you too.

Author: Christian Dunn