Seeing and Not Perceiving

Quotes From Thaddeus contribution

As a result of a question posed on December 29, 2005


‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that the y may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again and be forgiven' (Mark 4:11-12)

 

This saying comes in Mark's record between the parable of the sower (or the parable of the four soils, as some prefer to call it) and the explanation of that parable.  The parable, the explanation, and the saying quoted above are all ascribed to Jesus Himself.  But if the saying means what it seems to mean, then Jesus tells His disciples that the purpose of the use of parables is that His hearers in general (those who are not of His followers) may hear him but not understand him, and it is difficult to believe that this was so.

 

Matthew alters the sense by using the conjunction “because” instead of “so that”: “This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand’ (Matt. 13:13).  That is to say, because the general public was slow to grasp the sense of Jesus’s teaching (as many of the general public today also are), he embodied it in parables to make it more immediately intelligible.  The hardness of the saying is thus mitigated; it is readily accepted that:

 

Truth embodied in a tale Shall enter in at lowly doors.

 

Luke 8:10 follows Mark's construction, with some abbreviation.

 

But what is the point of Mark's construction? One suggestion is that the saying was entirely Mark's creation. The parable, it is said, was told by Jesus; the explanation received its shape in the primitive Church, but the hard saying is Mark's own contribution: it expresses his view (or the view of the school of thought to which he belonged) about the purpose of Jesus' parables. But is it out of the question that the saying represents something spoken by Jesus himself?

 

It is plain that the saying is an adaptation of an Old Testament text, Isaiah 6 : 9-10. When Isaiah received his call to the prophetic ministry, in the well-known vision that he saw in the temple 'in the year that King Uzziah died', the voice of God said to him, 'Go, and say to this people: "Hear and hear, but do not understand; see and see, but do not perceive." Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.'

 

Should this commission be pressed to mean that Isaiah was ordered to go and tell the people to pay no heed to what they heard him say? Was it his prescribed duty to prevent them from hearing and understanding his message, and thus make it impossible for them to repent and so escape the destruction that would otherwise overtake them? No indeed; if that impression is given, it is simply due to the Hebrew tendency to express a consequence as though it were a purpose. Isaiah volunteers to be God's messenger to his people, and God takes him at his word, but says to him in effect, 'Go and deliver my message, but don't expect them to pay any attention to it. The effect of your preaching will be their persistent refusal to accept what you say, to the point where they will have rendered themselves incapable of accepting it.' In the event, this is exactly what Isaiah was to experience for the next forty years.

 

Isaiah's experience was reproduced in Jesus' ministry. For all the enthusiasm which greeted his ministry in its earlier phase, he had later on to lament the unbelief with which he met in the very places where most of his mighty works had been done. He might well have applied the words of Isaiah 6:9-10 to the effect (not, of course, to the purpose) of his own ministry. Certainly this text became one of the commonest Old Testament 'testimonies' in the early Church on the subject of Jewish resistance to the gospel. Apart from the allusion to it in the context of the parable of the sower in all three synoptic Gospels, it is quoted in John 12:40 at the end of Jesus' Jerusalem ministry and in Acts 28:26-27 at Paul's meeting with the Jewish leaders in Rome, while there is an echo of it in Romans 11:8. Its pervasiveness in this sense could well be due to Jesus' application of it to his own experience. 'As in its original setting in the Book of Isaiah, so here, it is most naturally taken as an arresting, hyperbolical, oriental way of saying, "Alas! many will be obdurate."

 

 At the end of the Isaiah quotation the verb used is 'be healed'. It is so in the Hebrew text and it is so in the Greek version (the Septuagint). But in the corresponding position in Mark 4:12 the verb is 'be forgiven'. This might be set down as a free paraphrase on the evangelist's part, were it not that the Aramaic Targum on the Prophets has 'be forgiven'. The date of the written Targum on the Prophets is considerably later than the date of Mark, but behind the written Targum lies an oral tradition: the Aramaic paraphrase of the Hebrew lesson was originally given in the synagogue by word of mouth. Perhaps, then, 'be forgiven' is due not to Mark but to Jesus: speaking in Aramaic, he alluded to the Aramaic wording of the Isaiah passage.

 

    Recognizing this, T. W. Manson went on to make a further suggestion. If Jesus had the Aramaic version of the text in mind, then it is relevant to consider that in Aramaic one and the same form does duty for 'so that' and 'who', while the expression for 'lest' may also mean 'perhaps'. The meaning of Jesus' saying would then be: 'For those outside everything is in parables, (for those, namely) who see indeed but do not perceive, who hear indeed but do not understand; perhaps they may turn again and be forgiven'.

 

This certainly removes most of the hardness from the saying, making it mean that Jesus imparted the 'mystery' of the kingdom of God to the disciples but spoke in parables to those outside their circle in hope that they would grasp sufficient of his teaching to repent and receive forgiveness. But if this is what the saying meant, Mark (or his source of information) has misunderstood it and made it hard.

 

If we remember that in the idiom of Jesus and his contemporaries a result might be expressed as though it were a purpose, the saying remains hard, but not intolerably hard. It is helpful also to realize that in Hebrew and Aramaic the word for 'parable' might also mean 'riddle'.

 

Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God and made plain the far-reaching implications of its arrival. This was a 'mystery' in the sense that it had not been disclosed in this form before: Jesus revealed it in his ministry. Among his hearers there were some whose minds were open to his teaching; they grasped its meaning and appreciated the point of his parables. There were others whose minds were closed. Even if at first they thought that he was the teacher and leader for whom they had been waiting, they soon changed their minds. His parables, luminous to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear, were but riddles to them. They could not take his message in, and so they could not profit by it. The more he spoke and acted among them, the less responsive they became. And they were in the majority. Only a few, relatively speaking, embraced the good news of the kingdom, but for their sake it was worthwhile making it known.

 

If the saying is understood in this sense, its relevance to the context, immediately after the parable of the sower, should be clear. The sower scattered the good seed broadcast, but only a quarter of it yielded a crop, because of the poor soil on which the rest of it fell-the hard-beaten path, the thorn-infested ground, the shallow skin of earth on top of the rock. But the harvest that sprang up from the good and fertile ground meant that the labor of sowing was by no means in vain - quite the contrary. The gain derived from those 'who hear the word and accept it' more than outweighs the loss incurred through those who turn away.

 

    One can only pray that those clergy through out the world, especially those who have arrived in New Mexico from the eastern part of the United States in recent times, will come to a clearer understanding of the spiritual importance this has in all things said and done, by thought, word and deed!  And, may the questioner on "spiritual fraud" be so enlightened for it would indeed appear that he has faced some very serious road blocks and cross roads on which he is facing a decision which is of great impact in his life.

 

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{ Apostle1.com's Note, Commentary & Opinion:  What does this have to do with prophecy?

It goes right back to Genesis and God's pledge to bless those who bless the children of Israel and curse those who curse them.

That is a prophecy that has seen every empire of the world come and go – yet Israel remains. It may be chastened by God. It may be dispersed. It may be divided according to His will [not man's]. But God has punished every nation that has come against Israel. Each one has been judged.

You can choose to believe it or not. It won't make any difference.

But he that touches the apple of God's eye will pay a price: "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." – Zechariah 2:8

As Zechariah 12:8-10 reveals: "In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

"And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."

And one shall ask Him, "What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends" (Zechariah 13:6).

In short... any THING we do against Israel, will and has caused for this country to face such as has never before been seen... ie: environmental changes and worse that is coming... Why do think God is doing nothing concerning the incursion of Islamic Sharia Law of the Muslim's Satanic Koran (Quoran) bible?  Think about it!  Our nation is being prepared for the worse things possible that our American way of life has never before seen and most of you aren't willing to accept the truth when it is very much before your eyes... Our congress and the closeted, disguised Muslim in the White House is but a glimpse of the Satanic horror that is to come! Disclaimer Notice below and what are you doing to put the brakes on them and him?  Absolutely Nothing from what many of us have seen thus far! Nothing!  Stay warm, do nothing and it will eventually happen to you or those who you leave behind to carry on your legacy! And, there is one more thing to remember:

"And He said to them, When I sent you out without purses and without bags and shoes, did you lack anything? They said to him, Not a thing. He said to them, from now on he who has purses, let him take them, and the bag likewise; and he who has no sword, let him sell his robe and buy for himself a sword. And they said to him, Our Lord, behold here are two swords. He said to them, That is enough...." Luke: 22: 35-38  }

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DISCLAIMER NOTICE: The views expressed at this website regarding any article not directly connected to religious content is the opinion or commentary of the author which we may not necessarily believe in, accept or support, and some religious articles we may not accept or support either. We take no responsibility or liability for the content of any news item or article presented as any information provided which you rely upon requires that you, the reader/viewer, take action to verify its worthiness on your own.  We have deduced to a minor degree, that the information provided by the author is such that warrants posting for you the viewer/reader only... and that any statements or purported facts, including any news item, is for you to verify as to its authenticity.  We take no liability and no responsibility for its accuracy whatsoever! You who are new visitors, may wish to read a very short article below entitled "The purpose for presenting our Daily News section" Sadly to say, we take no pleasure in stating that some of the items we post are not from what we would call true "Christian" organizations. But we post it because it provides another side of the proverbial story.  The Church, after all, is supposed to be a temple for sick souls (sinners) without distinction between their worse sins or otherwise, but it seems to some organizations that they say much about others, but fail and refuse to upbraid themselves and their members for their own sins...)

 

"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."

 

- Blessed St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

The purpose for presenting this Daily News section:

Daily News is very important to those who are true Orthodox Catholic Christians.  For without knowing or gaining information for understanding about what is happening in one's local area and around the world, you could  find yourself faced with denied services in the secular area, lack of income, even (although it sounds far-fetched) ability to worship openly for the time is not far off when all will have to decide if they wish to follow the Anti-Christ through the One World Church and One World Government as prophesied by the Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation of St. John or follow the faith delivered once and for all which will cause for many to be denied the abilities to survive under those kind of conditions, causing for one to consider other options. 

 

Many of those who subscribe to, and some who have caused or are the cause for, these things to happen are involved in or with the Roman Jurisdiction of the Catholic Church (which is not the seat of all things "Catholic") as well as its protestant daughters such as the cultic Jehovah's Witnesses, the Pentecostal Churches, the Church of Latter Day Saints also known as the Mormon Church and far too many more to list. 

 

Yet, at this web site we do provide some of the reasons about why they are opined to be the harbingers of that which is prophesied in Holy Scripture for the bringing about of the End Times which we have already entered.  It is not necessarily their individual members or parishioners that should be blamed since they are only the "Sheep" and not the Shepherds... So do not think we castigate individual people of themselves as we castigate those "money changers" who Jesus Christ chased out of His Father's House as the Bible Describes; for they exist in these present times too.

 

Events are already rushing toward that time in which this is beginning to happen and will become more fully wide-spread. In these present times all you need to really do is look around both your local and larger areas as to what is really on-going through.  Things so very little or miniscule that they are barely noticeable except to the more informed observer may become apparent. 

Those little things are the laws of the land, economics, politics, the degrading and erosion of those rights and liberties afforded by the Constitution of these United States of America and many other things such as the manner with which entertainments have taken over much of the populace, entering into and becoming a major focus in worship, and more. 

We ask you, if you don't want to believe us... Have you heard, seen or found what is termed (of the many terms being used) that there are "holding areas" or "camps" or "Closed/Fenced communities" being built by GOVERNMENT? 

Here in North America, especially in the United States of America, we must admit that what Russia has come out of (a communistic, atheist country) we are entering into.  And one last thing that needs also to be understood... Something very important to those of you who are "Catholic" in the Roman sense of its jurisdiction....   And, we believe this also holds true for many who are "Orthodox" whether "Eastern" or "Western"....

[ * Non-Denominational = Synchrestic Ecumenism, Disease of Scholasticism, altering the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ to accommodate the disease of Political Correctness and CULTIC PROTESTANTISM, and the Roman Jurisdiction (Latin Church = Vatican) of the Catholic Church) breaking of - or failure and refusal to respect and abide by  - the ancient Seven Ecumenical "Do Not" Canons which leaves everything else open to God's gift of creativity... failure & refusal to abide by and have respect for those who diligently protect one of the other Pillars of the Church, the Seals of the Confessional, but "Non-Denominational" also includes worshiping Satan's religion of Muslim, Islam by praying with them and other heretics such as 'Pentecostalism,' 'Jehovah's Witnesses,' 'Mormons,' 'Church of Christ,' any so-called church with "Community Church" in their nomenclature and others who by their false and misleading dogmas and doctrines are actually against the Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ upon whom and for exacting reason we are called "Christian" in both spirit and truth from which non-denominational protestant sectarian claimants have departed from as being so-called Christian] Only a skilled spiritual father can help you!

Remember: You cannot ride two horses or serve two masters for one of them will be harmed by your thoughts, your very words and your actions which is to blaspheme the Holy Ghost (Spirit) who will depart from you.  And when the Holy Spirit departs, the great deceiver (unbeknownst to you) will rush in to fill the void under disguise of being the Holy Spirit!  Testing of the Holy Spirit to insure it is the Holy Spirit does not, for many a Sectarian Protestant and Roman, work because the Great Deceiver (Satan) is most skilled in worming and snaking his charms around your mind and heart to feign being the Holy Spirit.  Remember, Satan has the same gifts similar to the Holy Spirit but Satan's gifts are UN-HOLY and lead all who accept him (unbeknownst to you) to perdition.

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"Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of her heresies."

- Blessed St. +John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

 

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