“Ever hearing but never understanding, ever seeing but never perceiving, calloused of heart, they hardly hear and close their eyes.” This description of the people of Isaiah’s day, and of Jesus’ day, and of our day, is all about intentionality. It takes some work to refuse to understand all you’re hearing, to refuse to perceive all you’re seeing, and the result is that our hearts grow calloused.
When I think of the sheer amount of information pouring in through our eyes and ears, especially compared to those even 30 years ago, how can we help but become calloused? The amount and level of violence and pain we see each day, the stories we hear… the human heart cannot bear it and remain open, and so we close our hearts simply as a survival instinct. We have all we need to live and be better, but still we don’t.
But Jesus, and Isaiah before Him, were speaking about something other than just the pain of this world. They were speaking of what they saw of and heard from God, and specifically from Jesus. His teachings show us the way to life Godly lives, but as much as we learn and see and hear, we still don’t. We still gossip and slander one another, hold others to moral standards we ignore in our own lives, and put our own desires above God’s will for our lives. We still closer our ears and our eyes to what we know Jesus has called us to.
If we truly listened to the teachings of Jesus, the whispers of the Spirit, if we truly looked around for God at work, then we would see, and we would hear, and we would understand. And our response would be to TURN. This is the word “repent”, to turn away from the Wrong and toward the Right. So take the time and do the work to hear what God says, to see what God is doing, and to understand Him in relation to us, and then turn, repent and turn to Him, and He will heal us.