“‘Go to this people and say,Acts 28:26-27 NIV
“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”
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.’
Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah 6:9-10 to the Jewish leadership in Rome after many of them had rejected what he had to say about Jesus as their Messiah. They were people steeped in their Scriptures yet were blinded to the truth that it contained. They thought they understood it but failed to recognize the Messiah their Scripture pointed to. Their hearts had become calloused.
I get callouses on my hands during the summer from extensive use of gardening tools. The callouses help protect my hands from the blisters that might otherwise cause me harm. But while callouses on my hands may be a good thing, having a heart calloused to God’s word is not.
The warning contained in this passage is all too real for those of us who read the Bible regularly. And for those who have sat through years of Bible studies and sermons. We can become so familiar with the words that we fail to listen to what the Holy Spirit might want to teach us from them. We become calloused to it.
Read your Bible regularly and often. And do so, not just to check off a box, but to seek what the Holy Spirit would say to you. Don’t become calloused to God’s word, ever hearing but never understanding. Instead, approach it with tender and receptive hearts and minds.