Matthew 13:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 13:17, NIV: For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Matthew 13:17, ESV: For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:17, KJV: For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Matthew 13:17, NASB: For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:17, NLT: I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn't see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn't hear it.

Matthew 13:17, CSB: For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see but didn't see them, to hear the things you hear but didn't hear them.

What does Matthew 13:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has demonstrated the great difference between the disciples and the rest of Israel, including the supposedly wise and educated religious leaders. The people have not been given knowledge of the great mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. The disciples have been given those secrets (Matthew 13:10–16). The greatest of those mysteries is that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God on earth, who will bring the kingdom of heaven.

Christ wants the disciples to understand what a great gift they have been given. Many prophets and righteous people throughout the long history of Israel have longed to see, hear, and understand what Jesus' disciples now see, hear, and understand. The prophets only knew that, through God, they wrote about something great to come in Israel's future. They knew they wrote, under inspiration from God, about something great that would bring blessing to the Gentile nations, as well. They could not entirely know what it was (Hebrews 11:39–40).

The disciples, greatly blessed, learned the secret first. All who believe their message—the gospel—come to know the long-hidden mystery of salvation through faith in Jesus. Peter, present when Jesus said this, put it this way in one of his letters:
"Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look" (1 Peter 1:10–12).