Jesus called the people of His generation blind! He particularly criticized the Jewish religious leaders of that day for their hypocrisy. Quoting from Isaiah, Jesus said this: “‘‘…Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive”’” (Matthew 13:14).
This ringing indictment, itself, was not understood by almost all who came into contact with Jesus Christ!
Here we are in the closing years of this age—do we understand, do we perceive?
Or are we also fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah—and of Jesus?
Prophecies are now being fulfilled in ways that are simply unprecedented! The pace is so rapid, that I imagine we find it hard to even keep abreast of it all. This sudden acceleration was prophesied: “’”Disaster will come upon disaster, And rumor will be upon rumor”’” (Ezekiel 7:26). Also, “‘…It will be a terror just to understand the report’” (Isaiah 28:19). Continuing, “‘…For I have heard from the Lord God of hosts, A destruction determined even upon the whole earth’” (Isaiah 28:22).
Prophecy also tells us what we should be doing in this time! In chapters 24 and 25 of Matthew, key events heralding the end of the age are written with a special emphasis given to those who will live in these times. What we are told is to watch and pray and to be ready (compare 24:42, 44; 25:10, 13).
Returning to Matthew 13, Jesus also spoke in reference to His followers:
“‘But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it’” (Verses 16-17).
If we are diligent to use our gift of understanding, then we will continue “to discern both good and evil” (compare Hebrews 5:14). Recognizing the events that are transpiring takes effort on our part, and we are warned to stay attentive to our responsibilities and not to become lazy in these matters (compare Hebrews 6:11-12).
When the Pharisees and Sadducees sought an impressive visible heavenly sign from Him, Jesus’ answer was pointed: “‘…When it is evening you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red”; and in the morning, “It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times’” (Matthew 16:2-3).
If we are among the elect who discern the signs of our times, then we must not ignore the accountability that comes with this knowledge: “‘…For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more’” (Luke 12:48).
Have you been given much understanding of God’s Will, and has much responsibility been committed to you to have a part in the Work of God? In answering this question for ourselves, remember the underlying principle by which we are being judged—that is, to be “‘…faithful…'”, even if it is just ‘”over a few things’” (compare Matthew 25:14-30).
You might just test yourself and honestly consider—what do you hear and what do you see?