Matthew 13:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 13:15, NIV: 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.'

Matthew 13:15, ESV: For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Matthew 13:15, KJV: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Matthew 13:15, NASB: FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY MIGHT SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART, AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

Matthew 13:15, NLT: For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes--so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.'

Matthew 13:15, CSB: For this people's heart has grown callous;their ears are hard of hearing,and they have shut their eyes;otherwise they might see with their eyes,and hear with their ears, andunderstand with their hearts,and turn back --and I would heal them.

What does Matthew 13:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A prophecy found in Isaiah 6:8–10 features God passing along these words. Jesus applies Isaiah's words to the Israelites of His own generation. He says that the hearts of the people have grown dull. They can barely hear with their ears, and their eyes are closed. Why? They don't want to see or hear or understand, because then they would need to repent.

In prior verses, Jesus has indicated that He's deliberately teaching in parables in order to partially obscure the truth from the crowds. Prophecies such as this show why this is an act of judgment, not an unfair trick. The people's refusal to believe comes first, and in response, God amplifies their stubbornness. Those who are sincere can, and will, still hear the message and accept it. But most will not (Matthew 7:13–14).

Both Isaiah and Jesus are explaining two primary messages. First, the people, including the religious leaders, have refused to believe that Jesus is the Messiah despite hearing His words and seeing His miracles. Second, and for that reason, God has ensured they will not believe now despite hearing Jesus teach in parables and seeing further miracles. The people are responsible for refusing to understand what is obvious, and, as a result, God has acted to keep them from understanding in the future (Proverbs 29:1).