Isaiah 6:9-10, Mark 4:10-12: I have heard this passage, and others like it, used to “prove” that God purposely hides the truth from some. One of the reasons posed is that God does not want them to know or does not want them to be saved. Is this true? Is there any truth to an idea that God keeps secrets hidden from some because He really doesn’t want them to find the truth, or is there more to the story?
If we start with Mark 4:11, on the surface, it looks like Jesus is giving only the twelve disciples secret knowledge, but if we go back to Mark 4:10 it says “Those about Him with the Twelve.” This gives the impression that this is a message for all of Jesus’ followers. It is not a secret but not everyone could know as much as it is something that not everyone would know, and there is a reason for that. Mark 4:12 tells us the reason – “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.” Again on the surface, it appeared as if Jesus was purposely hiding certain truths from the people when this may not at all be the case.
In verse Isaiah 6:9-10 GOD told Isaiah to preach to the people so that they could not hear or see the truth and to dull their minds. God knew some would return to him but those whose hearts have been harden were destined for judgement. Those who would not repent would face the consequences of their actions. It is important to note that Isaiah may not have actually used these exact words in his message to the people as this was what God was telling him to tell the people. I pointed out earlier that at this point, God may not have wanted them to turn from their wickedness. If we think God cannot or should not react to their constant rebellion, or that God could not have had enough of it, we would be sorely mistaken. Sometimes, God will shut the door to reconciliation and only reopen the door of reconciliation after judgment. Sometimes, the nations became so corrupt that judgment was imminent. It is possible that this was the case here for the nation of Judah. In God’s goodness though, judgment is not forever, and in God’s goodness reconciliation and salvation is still part of God’s plan.
Now back to Mark 4:10-12: The purpose of the parables. We could perhaps look at this as a weeding out process. Those who were earnestly seeking God and sincerely and humbly following Jesus would stick around to learn more, while those whose hearts were already hard would simply walk away having no idea what Jesus was saying. And because of the hardness of their hearts, they also had no desire to find out what He was talking about either. Jesus knew taking time to explain the meaning of the parables, would have been wasted on them. After all, it was Jesus who said, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6). So, what do you think? Do you think Jesus was giving secret knowledge to certain people because He did not want them to understand?
What is important to realize and remember is that God is not corrupt; man’s heart is. He knows the hearts and intentions of every man, and He is not obligated to share the deep things of Himself with those who will just trample them anyway. We must also remember that if we earnestly seek God, He does not turn us away. He will not hide truth from us or keep it a secret. He wants us to search after Him. God is not playing hide-n-seek in hopes we will walk around in a constant state of confusion and doubt. He will honor our humbleness and sincerity.
*Did you catch that? Another proof of Christ’s deity: Jesus often quoted OT scripture when Yahweh was speaking as if they were His (Jesus’) own words. No other prophet ever did that. They would say “This is the word of Yahweh.”